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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's Time to Brainstorm!

Last Thursday Shirley Karr blogged about Plotting Retreats. Shirley and her friends get together for a weekend and talk about their new books, asking “what if” questions and planning out their GMC and HEA. When I brainstorm with my writer friend, Caroline Fyffe, we quickly explain what our newest book is about. Usually we already have the first few scenes figured out but then we ask one another, “What comes next?” For instance the book she is working on is a western historical so we brainstormed all the things that could go wrong on the trail to their destination: Meet with Indians, Snake bites, Lose all their water, They get lost, Someone gets sick, Bad guys come, etc.

See! It’s easy. Anything goes. Nothing’s too crazy. Who wants to give it a try? Give me a paragraph setting up your book. Tell us where you’re at and where you want to go and we can all throw out Next Scene Ideas. There’s nothing better than having a long list of possibilities!

I will start. I’m thinking about writing a YA and the new girl at school is a freshman in high school. What special power does she have? What family problems does she have? What boy will she hook up with? Okay, throw out some ideas! Help Me or give me one of your own!

Come on, let’s brainstorm!

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At 10:43 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

How about the power to know what's going to be on a test? Maybe a mental telepathy thing where she can connect to a teacher's brain?

At 11:05 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Oh, I like that one Mo! And to go along with that idea what if she has the power to know who likes who...and once the kids find out they line up to get answers...that could cause some trouble???

What are you working on these days, Mo?

At 11:14 AM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Okay, come on. Somebody must need help with what scene to write next! Let US help YOU!!! :) That's what we're here for.

Need help with a book title? I like brainstorming titles, too!

At 12:42 PM, Blogger Annie said...

I’m writing a YA. Set in current/future. Cell phone, internet and other stuff exist but she live in non-religion socialty. She and her father are Christians who secretly help others discover Christ. I just wrote the scene where the guards arrest her father for what they are doing. For some reason they don’t arrest my MC. I need some ideas for what can go wrong or right on her journey to save her father. The guy she hates but secretly might like (think Darcy and Elisabeth) is helping her.
Thanks, Annie

At 2:34 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Hi Annie,

Okay, I asked for it. That's a tough one. So, the father is in jail far off somewhere or nearby?

What will she and her love interest guy have to do to get her father free or out of jail? Do they need to go to court and gather evidence before hand?

If so, they can set out to talk to people who have been inspired by her father. Gather letters and stories from people proving that her father means only good.

Maybe somebody with different religious views destroys her house and this love interest offers her a place to stay...his spare room?

It's always good to put your characters in situations that make them where would she be most UNcomfortable?

What does she and her love interest do for a living?

Do they have large families?

At 3:00 PM, Blogger Dianna Love said...

Theresa –
I LOVE this idea of brainstorming help, but then I love to brainstorm. “g” We should do this more often.

Mo – love your YA stories. Get suggestion from Theresa.

Annie –

Okay, I’m thinking this might be an Inspy and, if so, Theresa has given you a good problem/bad problem where they are thrown together – which has all sorts of complications since the guy and girl won’t be able to stay alone together if it IS an Inspy so that might mean introducing a wild card type character. Someone who will cause as many problems as be helpful.

As for the journey to save her father…
*** Maybe she has to go to the one person she either is terrified of or never wanted to see again to be a character witness for her father. Or this person could be the one person her father forbid her to ever see/meet, but would not tell her why. Only that this person was dangerous/crazy/a threat of some kind – but when she meets this person instead of answers she faces more questions.
*** One question that would drive some of the situations is “what is the ticking clock”? Yes, she wants to save her father, but pushing that another step up would be why she has to save him NOW? In other words, if he’s going to be in jail (or the equivalent of in a future world) for a while that doesn’t sound so bad. But if there has been a recent major crisis/incident that is blamed on the religious sector then maybe they just passed a rule/law that anyone they found associated with this religious group is basically “guilty by association” and therefore subject to an expedited court review/hearing that could have him sent off planet or to another country or executed (because people had died in the incident) then TIME would be a big factor. And in that example (even though it’s not your story this might jog some ideas), maybe the government was behind the incident because the religious group is becoming so strong it threatens the government. So then the MC – whose father had not been involved in any way – is forced to find the truth behind the incident to prove her father’s innocence. In doing so, she would face a lot of problems, because another force would be working just as hard to keep her from finding out the truth.

The government could have spies who have infiltrated the religious sector so when she finally got a break and was told somewhere to go to talk to someone who could help her she would be walking into a trap. Or her love interest could get the lead and get captured and that might lead her closer to the truth.

In other words, the complications will come from her goals and the obstacles thrown in the way.

That may be more than you want, but I figured I’d throw it out there.

Interesting story – hope you get it written and submitted.

At 3:50 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Great ideas, Dianna. I love brainstorming, too! We should definitely have a brainstorming session on the WNP every month!

Annie, I like Dianna's idea to force your MC to have to visit someone she doesn't want to visit. A long lost sister, brother, mother?

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Annie said...

wow! hmmm you given me some ideas I have not thought about. Thanks.
Anymore ideas are welcome!

At 9:53 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Annie, What if the love interest is the son of the leader or of the man who has the father arrested? So she is never sure if he is going to help or turn her in.

At 9:55 PM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

Theresa, what if your heroine can see into the future so she knows the danger her classmates are headed for.

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Oooh, Diane, these are great ideas! Thanks! You're awesome!


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