Brainstorming is Better with a Friend

Camp NaNo starts next week and I might throw up.

I’m signed up with a plan to write 50,000 words during the month of July. Usually, November’s NaNo is reserved for this crazy endeavor, but, I figure if I want to write, then I need to write…more!

“So, I have this idea…” I began, walking into my friend’s house Friday night. We meet every weekend to talk about writing, teaching, and anything else that helps us decompress after a week. And, it was true. I did have an idea.

But, that’s all I had.

Ideas aren’t hard to come by for me. They hit me upside the head daily and I write them all down. I have lots of ideas. The hardest part of writing (for me) is choosing an idea that won’t fizzle out after 10,000 words. It has to be an idea that can grow plots, characters, subplots, and ultimately a good story. So, I chose an idea that I thought could do all this and we got to work.

We started on her idea first. My friend is a pacer. She works through her ideas by walking. As she wore a path on her back porch, I stood and fired off questions. “What if she does this? Or he does that? Or the bad guy is doing this because of that?” She paced and shot out questions of her own. And, forty-five minutes and four double chocolate chip cookies later, she had a plot.

Then, it was my turn. My idea came from a dream I had, something I’m interested in, and a friend’s misfortune. Marrying those things has given me something I think can be a very good story – with a lot of work. I’m a chicken scratcher when I plan. I write down every idea all over a piece of yellow lined paper (I LOVE legal pads!). I wrote down ideas, possibilities, and my friend challenged me. “Why would she do that? What is his motivation for doing this?”

And then, I too had a plot.

Everything is better with a good friend – brainstorming, planning, and double chocolate chip cookies!

(Thanks – Amanda! You can check out her blog here)


About Adria Waters

I am a mom, wife, teacher, and a writer. Somehow I'm trying to find time for all of those things!
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4 Responses to Brainstorming is Better with a Friend

  1. I have more cookies and I’m ready to plan more!

    • Adria Waters says:

      Looking forward to Friday night! Not sure I’ll be as far along as you in planning, though – last week teaching summer school and then I should have some more time 🙂

  2. YES! It’s always great to have someone play Devil’s Advocate or fire back at you with questions you’ve never even thought of – a look into someone else’s mind can do wonders for plot-block.

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