Nothing makes me happy the same way a good brain dump does, and I’m not just talking about writing. A good brain dump can be applied to a variety of points in life but today I’m obviously talking about the ones for writing. When it comes time to plot a book, before I even start outlining, I start with a brain dump.
It’s a simple process, really. After opening Notion, I can pull up my ideas database and go through different stories. Usually when it’s time to plot a book, I at least go in with an idea of what the main story line is going to be. I typically won’t start outlining a book if I don’t know what that will be, I need an end goal to plot my way toward.
First step with any good brain dump is just grabbing a notebook and a pen and writing down any idea that I think will come to the book. The main plot, points in the main plot or anything I’ve sent up in the last book I know I need to wrap up. Anything and everything can go on this brain dump, the whole point is to get things out of my brain and all in one place.
I’ll also go through that Notion database to look for any crimes that I feel I could work into the story, either as part of the main plot or even a sub polt.
When it’s time to start, I set a timer for 15 minutes, put my phone away and start writing anything that comes to mind within the story. Usually the first time I do this is the biggest one throughout the process, however whenever I feel like I’m stuck in the middle of the outline. Earlier this summer after a long break from outlining, I knew I needed to wrap up several story lines in Hit List so I sat down to do a brain dump.
A writing brain dump will be messy, it will have lots of notes that probably make no sense later on, but it’s good to get everything on paper and out of my brain. Thoughts don’t last long in my brain, so adding them to paper or Notion ensures I’ll be able to reference them later on. Never want to lose a great idea to a forgetful brain, so a brain dump helps alleviate this problem!
If you haven’t already, be sure to enter the giveaway, too! This little series will be back in two weeks with a look at my first outline.