Thursday, June 14, 2012

Collective Brainstorming—Beating Writer's Block Together

Borg Collective
from Star Trek
I'm probably not the first to come up with this idea, but just for what it's worth: I did think of it on my own (with little to no inspiration from others). That was a disclaimer, by the way.

Every step of the journey for the 21st century writer can be interactive (and probably should be). Once a manuscript is completed, there are online groups for beta reading, editing, marketing and so forth. There probably are sites for brainstorming as well, though my initial guess is that they aren't prevalent.

What I have seen is done via forums, but I'm not going to go that route. I want to see if it can be done via blog. Join me as I experiment.

If anything, my idea mixes blogging with the way works. So, here's how it will work:
  • The idea for a story, a rudimentary outline, is laid out.
  • Collectively we add to this outline, such as descriptions for the following:
    • Characters
    • Plot
    • Specific Scenes
    • The World of the Story, including geography, history and the like.
    • Snippets of Dialog
  • Since the collective outline will be public, anyone is welcome to submit ideas, though I will decide what gets accepted for the blog.
  • Anyone is welcome to use any posted idea (accepted or not) for inspiration.
  • Since this is just brainstorming, showing vs. telling shouldn't be an issue. We can tell as much as we want, though the occasional showing might make the outline come alive.
  • I will link to everyone who contributes to the story, and those that contribute accepted pieces will be listed on each blog post about the story.
  • Ideas that are not accepted but are still valid suggestions may be included in blog posts to thank the contributors and link to them.

Right now I have no particular plans to publish anything that we come up with as a group, but I don't see why I wouldn't invite the biggest contributors to help me write the story. More on that should we get that far.

What's the purpose?

There are three specific goals:
  1. Provide traffic to this site (selfish, I know, but it is a goal)
  2. Provide writers with ideas
  3. Create outlines for specific stories

What's next?

I have an idea for a story, and I will blog about it soon. I'll invite others to add to my ideas, which will in turn create ideas for future blog posts. Others are welcome to start brainstorming sessions of their own. I'll assist wherever I can. The working title for my brainstorm is Spawning an Empire. Stay tuned.

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