Monday 2 November 2015

NaNoWriMo: B is for Brainstorming

Hey! Are you doing National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)? Follow me this month as I work through the alphabet of great writing tips, from creating ACTION to getting into the ZONE. 

Need a writing buddy? Email me at or comment in my daily posts. We can inspire each other to put down those daily word counts. My goal this year: 5,000 words. 

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Where do ideas come from?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I do a lot of BRAINSTORMING—and for better or worse, I’m pretty much an idea factory. I’ve jotted down so many ideas in my journal that I don’t think I’ll ever write them all.

My Language Arts teacher says you can never have enough ideas, so I thought I’d share where some of mine come from. How many of these can YOU relate to?

1. Magazines. I love to read magazines like Ranger Rick, Odyssey and Faces. Often they have little facts in them that can be turned into story sparks. Did you know that Jurassic Park was written after Michael Crichton read an article about cell cloning?

2. Newspapers. I admit, I don’t read the newspaper very much anymore, but when I do, I skim the headlines. You’d be surprised at what you can come up with by twisting an unusual headline into something crazy and fun. You know what they say, sometimes the truth IS stranger than fiction.

3. Story Starters. There are several websites that you can go to for “story starters”—it’s the first paragraph of a story giving you the character, the setting and a problem. You write the rest! Check out Scholastic for some fun story starters.

4. Fairy Tales and Folk Stories. What if the wolf in Red Riding Hood was a werewolf, or Cinderella’s glass slipper was actually a mechanical replacement foot? Fairy tales and folk tales can provide awesome inspiration for new stories!

5. Alternate Endings. Take your favourite story and rewrite the ending. Or, find books that have “unfinished” endings, like GOTTA JET, the second book in the Chase Superman Duffy adventure series. You can decide WHO wins the race and what obstacles are faced along the way.

Have I missed anything? Once the ideas start flowing, you can get onto my other favourite “B” word — the BEGINNING of your story.

Gotta jet! “C” you tomorrow.

— Chase Superman Duffy

PS – Want to write another ending to GOTTA JET for your NaNoWriMo project? Contact to learn how to get a copy.

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