Create a few ideas for your story

If a story can be described as a character attempting to achieve an objective by overcoming obstacles, then there are a multitude of ideas that can form the basis of your story. Stories can be created from real-life experiences, or from fantastic worlds bearing no resemblance to anything on Earth, or anywhere in between.

Too many times, writers are overwhelmed by the idea of creating a story. To overcome this sensation, it’s a good exercise to brainstorm for ideas.

Brainstorming is easy. Write down on a piece of paper, or dictate to a recorder, every idea or part of an idea that you can think of as quickly as possible and for as long as possible. You want quantity, a very large number of ideas.

The most important aspect of brainstorming is to completely shut off any and all criticism. You cannot mix creative ideas and evaluation of the ideas at the same time. Any evaluation will close off the creativity. Don’t let that happen! Write and write and write any and all ideas. Don’t consider whether they are good or not, or even if they are moral or immoral. The thrust is generating a bunch of ideas and you don’t want anything to interfere with that flow. If the thought comes into your mind that some of your ideas are embarrassing, remember that you’re going to evaluate the ideas at some point and will permamently erase all records of the ideas that you don’t want anyone to see. But that’s a later step. The first step is to get the

One of the reasons you don’t want to evaluate is that even if an idea for a story turns out to be awful, it may create associations to other ideas that turn into good stories. You just don’t know which are going to work until you’ve completed the brainstorming.

Don’t stop brainstorming until you have at least a dozen ideas for stories. If you can keep the creativity going longer, do so! Perhaps you can create thirty or forty ideas, or even more. Don’t number the ideas, just don’t stop too early. At some point, brainstorming is like exercising or lifting weights. In exercise, your body will eventually be unable to keep going. In brainstorming, your mind will eventually be unable to create any more ideas. The greatest gains in both cases come from pushing as close to collapse as possible.

Once you have reached your limit, the brainstorming session is complete. Take a bit of a break and proceed to the next step of evaluations.