Brainstorming: The First Step to Writing Your Book

Do you have a creative idea you’d like to turn into a novel but aren’t sure of the first steps today? That’s totally understandable. The biggest first step is to explore your idea and something that helps me the most is to ask questions.

Usually a story idea begins with something that inspires us. What is the idea? Explore it and ask as many questions as you can to get your creative ideas engaged. Ask questions about what happened before the picture, during and after to get a sense of story continuation.

If you see characters, begin to figure out who they are. Sometimes it’s fun to interview these characters. When I’ve done this, I get a really strong sense of who they are because my imagination is giving them a voice, body language, tone, etc.

Other questions to ask are about the story itself. World building is one of the biggest steps you have to take as a writer to make your story come alive. So where does your story take place? Over how many days? weeks? months? What’s the weather like? What’s the genre?

Depending on the kind of writing you do, you’ll have to ask a lot more questions. If you write fantasy, for example, then you’ll have to explore the magic in your world and the variety of fantasy creatures for starters.

Other ideas to explore are the different scenes: beginning, middle and end as well as themes and narrative questions. To help you with your world building, I’m including a link to a Brainstorming document. Let me know if it was helpful and I can include more documents like these in future posts.

So what are some ways you brainstorm and build your story ideas?

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(Picture created with Canva)

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