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sunandshadow

Brainstorming

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Today I did the brainstorming exercise where you go to the bookstore, look at only the titles of a lot of books, and imagine what might be in a book with that title. (And write down any interesting imaginings, of course.) Generally you will get something completely different from whatever is actually in the book. Alternatively, you can just write down all the titles that catch your interest and try to figure out why, because this can give you hints about what you subconsciously want to write. Like on my title list I saw a lot of: titles of high-ranking people, synonms for dark or wicked, artsy words like dream and song, synonyms for vow, the word heart, animals such as fox and raven, words like game and gambit, and synonyms for captive or captor. A lot of those I already knew I was interested in, but dark and vow surprised me because I don't think I've ever written anything about either of those concepts. Another brainstorming technique I like is, if you already have a character, you imagine/write yourself having a conversation with them. Any other brainstorming techniques you all like?

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Thats a pretty neat technique =P

Well i generally do alot of reading. My imagination is huge so i can pretty much think off anything off the top of my head.

Though one technique i use from time to time is simpley browse the net. I go on big game sites, check out some screenshots, descriptions, game names etc and from there i can pretty much make a basic story line in my head ;)

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I have done what you have done Sunshadow. Its pretty cool. I to have a creative imagination. But I only write when I am in the mood for writing. Mostly songs, poems, short stories. My most difficult time in writing is trying to figure out which direction I want to interweeve the characters so it flows smoothly. I have been told by a friend to start with one or two characters of the story and go from there.

The story I am creating is another survival horror concept. But in this story everything you see in real life is basically in the Board game. Except for main corporations and small resturant names.

I also act out the characters expressions or whatever the character may be doing so I can write the scene down.

I am also not a huge fan on reading, I think that is my problem. I just haven't found something I am into to stick till the end of the book. I know its no excuse or anything like that. I just go from what I feel to write what I see. I guess its like freeform writing. Go on what I know.

BullDog

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It is funny you mentioned this technique, because I've used it from time to time.

It's fun for distilling the main themes and motives that strike your fancy into a single pool.

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One thing I was just noticing is that not only is reading important, but REreading is important, especially for learning how to plot. This is a problem for me, since I have a low tolerance for repetition and generally dislike rereading anything. I could probably learn a lot by making a list of everything I've read that has elements in common with what I want to write, and re-reading them, taking notes on how they are structured and accomplish various storytelling goals.

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Yes. I know what you mean by rereading some paragraphs in some books.
And before you are certainly correct about to much detail and to much of less detail. I know that may sound weird but its what you have posted in the earlier post in this heading.

I am all for detail, it makes my imagination soar.
But not enough and its very dull. Trying to figure out what was going on.
Like trying to conjure up what the yellow object in the dish was and come to find out it was butter for example.

Anyways I will have to check out what you are saying. taking structure notes. See each detail and put it into picture (s).

I still havent found a good ghost book that makes me shiver or interests me. Their more like research books. But I have seen a couple of books by H. P. Lovecraft which really interest me on the graphic horror genre.

For war books I am looking for a good detailed fantasy book that I can read.
The books I have looked through were just life stories. Hmm. Maybe even though true life stories can be interesting. What I am trying to get at is like a non fictional war book. Well, I hope you know what I am talking about. Maybe its me.

For anything else I take my time on reading the game magazines. I guess that is what really interests me at the moment.

Sci-fiction is another fav. of mine. I remember reading Issac Asimov's Book Titled: The Naked Sun.

Its the second book to the Robot Series. Its a detective thriller book. Very detailed and humorous.

I also enjoyed Animal Farm.

In the old classic kid books when I was younger, I have enjoyed the books about these two brothers going to school and getting into trouble and also solving stuff. Its called The apple something gang or boys. I wish I could remember the book title. Those books were very funny. These books were also in the era of The Nancy Drew Series. It was like a spin off or something.

Just my thought about reading.

BullDog

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Another brainstorming technique I like is, if you already have a character, you imagine/write yourself having a conversation with them.


That's actually very interesting, I'll have to try that.

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I've been watching a ton of movies recently. As I have trumpeted widely ([smile]), I have a degree in Cinema and Cultural Studies, so I read the film on multiple levels. However, this is not onlyabout shoring up gaps in my film knowledge and entertaining myself, but also about examining ways that various plot devices are used and characters are fleshed out and presented. I'm planning to do some animated shorts in a "painterly" style, so filmic cinematography is an important influence.

The interesting thing, though, is that you can't begin to sketch/storyboard until you have the story completed, and while I could do a non-narrative short, I'm not a big fan of such. (As an aside, I found Taxi Driver and Mean Streets to be abyssmal stories, and even Scarface to be mediocre, because of their narrative failings.)

I've been reading a collection of African folktales, but it's very poorly selected and put together. I'm at the point where I'm considering simply taking an excerpt of a well-known story and working on that, in a sense "making it my own" in the process (subtle changes to characterizations and viewpoints, maybe even context - era, zeitgeist, etc).

I'm rambling.

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
What were you looking for in the folktale collection? Perhaps I can recommend something?

I was really just looking to compare and contrast folktales across African cultures and perhaps identify some universal devices or tropes. It would also be nice to read Yoruba folktales I am familiar with as a refresher.

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Yeah I've found that just saying names, words, titles will inspire something. The name of the boss in my game was inspired by Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy 7. I thought of the worst boss but the one you could sympathize with the most. In Wind Waker, Ganon was more a philisophical type boss. So I said...hmm Ganon...And in FF7, you could sympathize with Sephiroth because he lost his "mother" and was really a crazyc razy guy. So I said...hmm...Sephiroth...hmm...Ganon...hmm...Gonith! and now Gonith is the name of my boss. =D
Honestly, this took less than 45 seconds. And I've stuck with this name for 3 years, which is amazing cuz everything else in my story has gotten editted at some point in time lol.

Takes nothing at all, just a little mind game and you'll get the results you want.

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Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
What were you looking for in the folktale collection? Perhaps I can recommend something?

I was really just looking to compare and contrast folktales across African cultures and perhaps identify some universal devices or tropes. It would also be nice to read Yoruba folktales I am familiar with as a refresher.


Some African cultures' folktales are the historical/epic type, and some are the animal fable type, and the two are not comparable. You'd find more similarities comparing the first type to greek and norse myth, and the second type to native american myth.

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hey everyone,

first the AP, you might want to try something by Micheal A. Stackpol if you like sci fi and want a fantasy war book.

I dont tend to do much wrighting but read lots and found that with the two books I have reread (I also dont tend to reread books) I was fasinated by how much of the little hints and details you tend to miss the first time through.

BTW if anyone is looking for a good book and likes chinese (anciant) history you might want to try Romance of The Three Kingdoms, it's one of the best books i ever read. Theres a free online copy here but its admitadly not the best translation.

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Here's an idea.

One person writes out different titles, themes, and quotes they think of that start to gel into an idea for them.

Then someone *else* has to write a short paragraph-or-two synopsis of how they would envision it.

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it took me a while to get myself accustomed to the new habit, but i keep a stack of notecards in a box by my bed now because i tend to wake up in the night with random ideas. and notcards are easy to just write a quick idea down, and toss it in the "used" side of the box rather than a journal which i can't really scribble on in the dark.

when i'm seemingly running out of ideas later on, i use the box to just remind myself how nuts i can be sometimes, and generally thinking back about weird dreams or ideas i've had just sparks new ways to develop a character or plot points. i always keep the same stack of notecards even if i've used the idea once, because 2 months down the road, something that just sparked that creativity might do so again in a completely different way. bonus if a notecard is actually a seed for a totally new story all by itself!

if that doesn't work, sometimes i'll force myself to sit in one spot for 3 or 4 hours without resorting to tv (music is fine) and just zone out, because i find when i get really (really) bored, wheels start churning. the key is to not have options for distraction. this is a last resort though because it's super easy to rationalize "oh, i can just play 1 more round of double agent online.. "

i do like the title browsing though... very interesting.

PS i'm basically a noob to game dev, i'm finishing my master's in screenwriting this may, keeping options open for future career paths in tv/film and more recently games. i'm very into the possibilities that are emerging with the new generation of titles coming out. anyway, that's my experience with brainstorming

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