Brainstorming a new novel

Brainstorming a new novel. Fun and scary at the same time! I have found that if I am not organized, I write a draft that will never see the light of day because the entire plot and characters will change. That means another first draft and so on. So, for me, spending some time up front helps me complete a novel quicker.

I usually have the main characters and the setting in mind. With that information, I use Jeff Gerke’s How to Find Your Story real quick. Leave as many blanks as I need, just keep my characters in mind and answer all the questions possible. This helps me flesh out the characters better.

Then I go through some My Book Therapy questions. These questions push me to find the deeper motivations of my characters. Along with the MBT question, I write out the Goal, Motivation and Conflict chart. Here is my new character chart.

Now I know my characters and Jeff’s tool helped me come up with storyline’s. This is when I come up with my plot. Starting with my inciting incident and ending with the black moment and realization. In the middle, I have turning points that I follow (Robin has a great handout that can be purchased).

After all this work, I pray that my characters and plot won’t change too much in my first draft!

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2 Responses to “Brainstorming a new novel”

  1. Sounds like a good methodology. I’m familiar with the MBT and GMC stuff, but not Jeff or Robin’s tools. Since every time I jump back into my wip, this character stuff starts changing in my mind, your chart might be a good way to go.

  2. Patricia,
    Thanks for reading 🙂

    Another thing I do is a novel binder. I print (or clip from magazines) photos for each of my characters. And also for my locations. I place all of that stuff in my binder along with this character chart. I’m working on a novel in North Carolina right now in three towns. So I printed a map of the state and highlighted where my fictitious towns were located.
    I’ll blog in a few weeks about an EXCELL spreadsheet that I use as well. These tools are helpful when you put a project down for a period of time. Heidi

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