Sometimes I get the urge to write so bad I will grab a pen and a notebook and curl up on the couch and just stare at my blank white page. I pretend I have magical powers in my eyes that will just summon words to the paper. The urge and want to write is there, but the words and ideas won’t flow freely. This becomes a problem. Here are some ways I counter that:
Music: Listening to music is probably my favorite way to brainstorm. I use this particular method I like to call “Sound-tracking”. I listen to a song and ask myself this question: If this song was playing in a movie or show, what would the scene be like? I can listen to the words and the sounds and I am able to almost see in my mind a scene unfolding. Music helps me get into certain moods as well.
Watching Boring TV: OK, so Planet Earth ISN’T that boring. It is really educational and the scenery is beautiful. Some of the best ideas can come from taking something that is a fact in our world and adjusting it to fit your world. I have sat there before watching TV, shows like Planet Earth, 1000 ways to die or even sitcoms, taking notes on a small pad or book. Looking back on them when I need to brainstorm or get an idea really helps me out.
Read a Book: Reading has always been one of the best ways to get ideas. I don’t consider it stealing so much as doing research. You writing a novel about Vampires? Read both sides of the Vampire coin, Get an Anne Rice book and that one about the girly Vampires that sparkle. Read the books that look and sound really cheesy. Don’t just read the BEST book for the genre, read the mediocre, the boring, and the bad as well. You can learn what works, what doesn’t, and even improve current facts and myths.
Look at Pictures: A picture is worth a thousand words. You can stare at a picture and just let your mind wander about it. Look at the picture and write down as many questions as you can. Like this, Why was this picture taken/painted/drawn? Who is that person/thing? Why are the doing this/that? What IS that? Why is the sky green instead of blue? Once you have your questions, take a moment and answer them yourself making it up as you go along. You have just started brainstorming! See how far you can take it from there!
Hope this helps you the way it has helped me!