Anyone have any good brainstorming techniques? Just in general or, in my case, coming up with a fantasy world?
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Honestly I find listening to appropriate music really inspiring. It helps me write, but it also helps me comes up with ideas. Also showing or being really tired and going to bed or driving and trying to sleep, but I can't because i just got this great idea, lol. My post is a little tongue in cheek though. ;)
Fascinating, @Cherie... shows everyone is different. If music were playing, my brain would be a blank. I take a long walk in a quiet place and let my mind wander. That said, don't have a good recommendations for Megen -- just a fervent request: if you're constructing a fantasy world, please really ask yourself how these people live. When you eat, think about how they eat. When you bathe, think about how they bath. Understand the rules for their world inside and out. Nothing annoys me more than seeing a fantasy world that's filled with ambience and imagination, but watching it you say to yourself... "yeah, but people wouldn't actually LIVE this way." And maybe that constitutes a brainstorming technique. That's how I'd approach it, anyway.
I would try and build a world that would give the best conflict to what the story is about.
My advice is to go as simple as possible, just make lists. In your case, making a fantasy world (neat, btw), Just list whatever comes to your mind. Whatever sticks out at you make another list just for that. Let yourself free associate and just kind of find stuff for you to work with and refine. Most of all don't worry about wasting time on dead ends because those will tell you what you don't want.
It's amazing how everyone has a very different take on all this, yet they all work for us individually. I center my movie around the theme I want to explore. Once I have that, I create the characters and world concurrently. I keep a lot of the "fat" in at first (sometimes, things seem too cool to take out even if they are really pointless), and them trim throughout the writing process. In my experience, the biggest downfall of some fantasy and sci-fi worlds is weaving a world of logic that's unnecessarily large.
The best is to just take about 2 minutes with friends and throw out what ever comes to mind on that subject. Say for example the subject was freaks. Then one friend will say freakazoid, IT, Freddy Kreuger, etc By the end you should have some ideas to expand on. How about a underwater fantasy world it as not been done much...
Agree with Marilyn, put the critic away and just play
You guys are awesome! All of your comments have been very helpful. Yesterday while brainstorming I ended up turning on "theme music", opening a beer and writing without judgement. I love the fantasy brainstorming suggestions, even if I don't use all the information I come up with, it will help me visualize the world better as I write. What a great screenwriting community. thanks again!
Writing prompts. Sometimes I start a new story just for the fun of it, get my mind off the original story, then it'll come to me. That's how I brain storm.
If your fantasy world has magical elements, consider outlining the magical "laws" first. I write fantasy novels and the most important thing to remember is to have a strict set of laws/limitations before any real action happens. Create your world one layer at a time as well . Geography, creatures, and rules will help make it believable.
I really liked the ideas presented. I like writing in a sci fy or fantasy world - you get to explore without the restraints of today's world, like convention and laws. But two things are really necessary. It's still always about the human condition and the things that people go through. There have to be conventions, laws, mores, rituals, etc. for it to seem real and to prevent the environment from becoming ready made for the moment (manipulated).
Yes I'm a guy but go shopping. Everything, everywhere inspires sometimes when you intentionally look and sometimes unintentionally. I went shopping the other day and looked at the stores as if I were shopping for props. I seen this God awful welcome mat that a characters wife could love, the husband hate and loathe and how it could become a common or few times used item of controversy. Fantasy check the toy isle or a novelty shop or even cheap dollar toys. Tool aisle's too, clearance isle you may just be amazed what can inspire. Try to talk to people too if your a conversationalist especially if they are in the same area looking at something. Be funny, be curious and open. Oh yeah only spent a dollar for a drink too. LOL!