Brainstorming Activities For Creative Writing
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Activities and interests: Global Health Student Council, crafting, cooking, and being outdoors. Try out several of these options and challenge yourself to vary the techniques you rely on; some techniques might suit a particular writer, academic discipline, or assignment better than others. When you freewrite, you let your thoughts flow as they will, putting pen to paper and writing down whatever comes into your mind. The advantage of this technique is that you free up your internal critic and allow yourself to write things you might not write if you were being too self-conscious. You might do this on the computer or on paper, and you can even try it with your eyes shut or the monitor off, which encourages speed and freedom of thought. The crucial point is that you keep on writing even if you believe you are saying nothing.
Word must follow word, no matter the relevance. Your freewriting might even look like this:. Yes, there will be a lot of filler and unusable thoughts but there also will be little gems, discoveries, and insights. In this technique you jot down lists of words or phrases under a particular topic. You can base your list on:. The first list might be based on your thesis; you would jot down as many 20th-century inventions as you could, as long as you know of their positive effects on society. You could do the same two lists for 19th-century inventions and then compare the evidence from all four lists. Looking at something from different perspectives helps you see it more completely—or at least in a completely different way, sort of like laying on the floor makes your desk look very different to you.
To use this strategy, answer the questions for each of the three perspectives, then look for interesting relationships or mismatches you can explore:. Take a sheet of paper, consider your topic, and respond to these six commands:. Do any of the responses suggest anything new about your topic? That is, do you see patterns repeating, or a theme emerging that you could use to approach the topic or draft a thesis? Does one side seem particularly fruitful in getting your brain moving? Could that one side help you draft your thesis statement?
Use this technique in a way that serves your topic. In the first blank put one of the terms or concepts your paper centers on. Then try to brainstorm as many answers as possible for the second blank, writing them down as you come up with them. After you have produced a list of options, look over your ideas. What kinds of ideas come forward? What patterns or associations do you find? This technique has three or more different names, according to how you describe the activity itself or what the end product looks like. Allow yourself to start with chaos. After the chaos subsides, you will be able to create some order out of it.
To really let yourself go in this brainstorming technique, use a large piece of paper or tape two pieces together. You could also use a blackboard if you are working with a group of people. Watch our short videos on webbing , drawing relationships , and color coding for demonstrations. In this technique, begin by writing the following pairs of terms on opposite margins of one sheet of paper:. Looking over these four groups of pairs, start to fill in your ideas below each heading.
Keep going down through as many levels as you can. Now, look at the various parts that comprise the parts of your whole concept. What sorts of conclusions can you draw according to the patterns, or lack of patterns, that you see? For a related strategy, watch our short video on drawing relationships. The six are: Who? Write each question word on a sheet of paper, leaving space between them. While word associations often focus on pairs of words, word banking asks you to form big groups of terms that all describe just a few themes or topics. Creating word banks in a business setting can help you dismantle a project into manageable parts — kind of like a mind map.
Then, when your work bank is complete, you can retroactively form connections between the terms you came up with, and use those connections to craft ideas that are guaranteed to include all of your most important characteristics. Word banking is ideal for content projects and can be a precursor for more in-depth keyword research. Use word banking to:. For each letter of the mnemonic, ask yourself a related question about your project or the problem at hand:. This method forces you to approach your project or problem in unexpected ways. Each question asks you to dig a little deeper into the issue and consider new possibilities. While S. Use it to:. Entrepreneurs and business leaders know exactly what a SWOT analysis is.
Well, it also happens to be a helpful brainstorming exercise. When launching a company, it's your textbook starting point literally — there isn't a single business school textbook in the world that doesn't have a version of it. But while a company's founder might use a SWOT analysis to create his or her business model, brainstormers can use the same diagram to better organize their ideas.
Your SWOT analysis doesn't have to be all that complicated when brainstorming. In fact, it can simply be four columns on a whiteboard during your average "shout it out" ideas meeting. When thinking of a new logo design, for instance, ask yourself what you like most about your current logo strengths. What do you dislike about it weaknesses? What should it have more of opportunities? What other company logos should you be mindful of threats? T analyses are typically used in business and entrepreneurship, but marketers can use it to:. The Zero Draft is an ideation technique often used by writers and is essentially a form of focused free-writing. For marketers and agency professionals, it can help focus the first stages of a new project by establishing what you currently know and getting your initial ideas out of your brain and onto paper.
The Zero Draft method is all about getting everything you can think of relating to your topic down on paper, so don't be concerned if it looks messy and unfocused. The goal is just to get past the initial block that often plagues creative professionals in the early stages of a new project. In certain corporations and government entities, data security is the highest priority. So high, in fact, that these organizations have been known to hire hackers — many of whom have committed internet crimes — to hack their systems and find out where the weaknesses are.
This "reverse" approach to security, wherein you hack your own company, is considered one of the best ways to secure a server from intrusion. And for us, it's the inspiration behind this fourth brainstorming technique. When you reverse brainstorm, you essentially work to create problems rather than solutions. Creating problems teaches you what not to do so you're more intuitive to the needs of your project. Think of it like hacking your company to find out where the weaknesses are. Say, for example, you want to drive awareness to a new product. As a marketer, you have many promotional channels at your disposal, but you don't know how to use them or where to start.
In a reverse brainstorming session, you might come up with the following:. Obviously, these are all horrible ideas if your goal is to promote the product. But, take the reverse of these ideas, and you've effectively created three excellent starting points for a supportive campaign: Link to the product in a series of blog posts, develop a Twitter campaign around the product, and identify specific features of the product that prospects would be most interested in reading or hearing about. As referenced above, you can use reverse brainstorming to come up with actions for promoting a new product. Are you brainstorming with your group or team? While all of the activities above could be used in a group setting, there are a few exercises that are made specifically for groups.
You don't have to be an artist or a designer to benefit from sketching. Visual thinking can help to trigger and develop ideas that discussion and writing might otherwise leave unturned. Similar to brain-writing, group sketching involves participants building on each other's ideas. Each member of your team will sketch an image related in a central way to a concept, idea, or topic you want to explore further. Each sketch is then passed to someone else, who sketches another related image on the same piece of paper.
This is repeated multiple times around the group. The final images are then reviewed and discussed with the aim of discovering connections that individuals hadn't spotted on their own. Creative exercises and ideas meetings always go better the more people you have in the room. Unfortunately, that means remote employees might not be solicited for their input as much as they should be. Brain netting is the act of connecting with folks electronically to make sure everyone can offer their input and feedback on a project.Graphic Arts. Some filters moved to Formats filters, which is at the top of What are some resources for finding medical answers online? page. Never finalize or Brainstorming activities for creative writing What is a normal blood count? the brainstorming session.