While associative brainstorming helps you find entirely new paths, and measurable brainstorming gives you confidence to make decisions, finding a new view works when you're on the right track but just not able to nail it down.
Many fiction writers advocate asking yourself "what if" not only when you're stuck, but even when the writing is going well. Wondering what might happen if something changed, and using your brainstorming prowess to run with it, is a good way to get a different view on the project or problem. My 7th grade English teacher did me a great service when she helped us understand prepositional phrases by visualizing a box.
Prepositional phrases generally tell where something was, and so she said that any time you saw a phrase in a sentence that could be used in relation to a box, you probably were dealing with a prepositional phrase.
When it comes to brainstorming, it's not about writing prepositional phrases, but it's about imagining the problem or project you are working on to be like that box. What if you took a swing at it from the other side? From ahead of it? Now you start challenging yourself to think of something from a different perspective, from a different time past or present and all sorts of directions. Oddly, most of us, particularly when working in teams, have the answers we're looking for or close to it.
We feel stuck, though, because we aren't able to sift through all the questions and the rest of the creative noise and pare down to that answer we wanted. By whittling away at what you know and removing the extraneous from the table, you can push aside the curtain and finally see the answer. This is where questions come into play.
Write down the questions you have about the project or problem. Then, for each of these questions, start listing the answers quickly. As you begin to answer the initial questions, other questions will come to mind that are associated with the answers you're jotting down. Write down these sub-questions and do the same procedure. The last brainstorming technique has a bit of a twist. It's all about the different ways you can use brainstorming techniques to enhance what they do.
Each of the previous three brainstorming techniques can be made even more powerful by using a combination or integrating a few other methods to up the ante. Look for combinations of techniques that work well together, or that your team seems to excel at. For example, maybe doing word associations first, and then morphing into word bank exercises is the best way to find words that work.
Perhaps your designer finds great success in starting with visual associations and then using a mind map to organize those associations. Start the brainstorming, but set a time limit. When the time is up, have your team members exchange what they were working on with another member, and continue brainstorming.
This is a good way to kick the rust out of each team member's creativity, and force them to rethink the approach they had been working on. It's a kind of shortcut in that you might eventually end up there as a team. But forcing them to deal with the ideas of someone else and build on them will get you some interesting results much quicker. As I mentioned in my own brainstorming blog post , forced limitations is a way to solve a difficult problem by creating a different problem.
With the idea that "necessity is the mother of invention", forced limitations narrow the field of resources, options, time, or outcomes—and force the team to work with less.
Often, having too many options is paralyzing, and forced limitations sparks creativity. They needed to get a square peg into a round hole in a limited time using limited materials in a way that could be recreated by the Apollo astronauts.
Imagine, though, if they had any materials they wanted, and all the time in the world. How many billions would it have taken, how many government contracts, how complicated would it have been, to get to the ultimate solution? But sometimes you have no limitations and you need to create some arbitrary limitations to get the same effect. Maybe you'll choose to reduce the time allowed for a solution, the materials available, or narrowly defined goal. Whatever it is, you'll see that creativity has a way of growing when there is less to work with.
Forced limitations have a way of cutting to the chase, ridding the solution of the extraneous, and getting things done. You've probably used many of these methods already in your life. But if you want to become a better writer, regular brainstorming will help you write more creative content. Give these brainstorming techniques a try, and see the difference they'll provide the next time you create content. Neidlinger is a writer, artist, and pilot from North Dakota. She has been blogging since at her Lone Prairie blog, and works as a freelance writer and visual artist.
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If your children like color , hand them three different highlighters or markers. Those ideas may work for an introduction or conclusion, or they may be omitted altogether. There are so many creative and interesting ways to brainstorm and organize ideas! If your child is pencil phobic , no worries. Brainstorming can be done verbally.
What follows are great ideas on how to brainstorm—ideas from professional writers, novice writers, people who would rather avoid writing, and people who spend a lot of time brainstorming about well, how to brainstorm.
Brainstorming refers to quickly writing down or taking inventory of all your thoughts as fast as they come to you. In this sense, your ideas are like a gigantic storm swirling around in your brain, and it's your job to get them out of your head.
But before you start, remember the first rule of brainstorming: Enumerate, don’t evaluate. Just get the ideas down, and don’t judge them or organize them until the creative phase has wound down. 1. Brainstorming Prewriting and planning is a way of organizing your ideas and beginning to put the information you have on paper. It is best to do a prewriting activity before you actually begin writing .
I hardly ever write in complete sentences in the initial parts of brainstorming and then end my brainstorming sessions by completely writing out my topic sentences in their entirety. Once you have a couple good ideas written down in complete sentences, you have completely finished generating ideas. Test every headline before you publish. Try the free Headline Analyzer» When it comes to brainstorming, it's not about writing prepositional phrases, but it's about imagining the problem or project you are working on to be like that box. What if you took a swing at it from the other side? From under it? From ahead of it?