Favorite Brainstorming Techniques?

I go into the Brainstorming room of my Mind Palace. It's upstairs from my Temple with nice views of the North garden.

If perusing the almost infinite number of books, objects an artefacts doesn't work, I can leave objects related to the idea in a specific chest, then go away. When I return the room the room usually transmutes them into 'ideas'.
Interesting. I learned the mind palace technique as a memory aid, but it never occurred to me to use it as a brainstorming technique. Cool!
me, the King-of-Ideation is the simple Random Input technique: boil your problem down to a representative word or phrase, and then pick another word or phrase completely at random. Then explore the landscape of solutions between the two concepts via free association or mind-mapping, and see what wonderful ideas occur.
I really like this technique even tho I don’t really approach writing in terms of brainstorming. I’ll definitely try it — if just for entertainment as it sounds like great fun.

My brainstorming is I suppose more to do with getting inspiration rather than mining or interrogating a stimulus.

I find walking, listening to certain types of music (esp Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd) really gets my brain to come up with themes, narratives and/or characters. For me the stim is tone/feeling. So I put my mind in that headspace and put up my aerial and see what comes.

Without sounding too <censored> (hopefully); the more liminal side of life is where I live and write from so hypnogogic impressions and dreams are where most of my stuff comes from. Then I acknowledge it (maybe write a note on my phone) and then let part 2 take over which I’d call letting the ‘thing’ marinate. I find then ideas related to it assert themselves without me having to do much consciously. Hardly measurable but it is what works for me.

As a late life ADHD diagnosis, I notice now just how important that is to my creativity. Listening to podcasts but not really concentrating on them allows me to really ‘hear’ my creativity.

I wonder how other neurodivergent writers find themselves brainstorming (or not).
Interesting. I learned the mind palace technique as a memory aid, but it never occurred to me to use it as a brainstorming technique. Cool!

I actually came across this idea from a meditation process that a magic practitioner uses, to build a protected 'you-space'.

The Palace is a mental device to then populate with various rooms and spaces where you can focus your mind on various processes and activities.

He was using it for magic, but I thought that it could equally well work for creativity!
I have a lot of vivid daydreams, and these spawn ideas for stories out of the blue. I keep detailed notes about them in my Google Drive, so if I need an idea for a story and nothing has come to me (I tend to write short stories for my blog more than anything these days, although I am working on some longer pieces), I go to my documents and go through them and see if they stir anything.

Another technique I use has probably been covered already- I take the situation, think of something unexpected that would contrast with it, and see if there is any way to bridge these things. I think whoever wrote that Kingsman movie where the villains had a 1950s main street structure built in the wilds of Cambodia might have used this technique, so it has its pitfalls, I suppose.
I only start writing when I have several major plot points and an ending in mind, using them as kind of stepping stones to keep me on track.

When I realise I've stuffed up between these points (which is quite often), I imagine I'm driving and instead of a direct route to the next key scene, I take a scenic or more convoluted route, or even a short cut, to the next point. Not sure how it works, but I usually end up with a variety of options.

Next problem is picking the right one...
I tend to take that approach when writing short stories and my novel. Like you said, helps keep me on track.
I am an unsuccessful writer. I have completed several novels over the last five years, but I think they are all terrible. However, I feel that they have served as a good apprenticeship...I feel as if I have learned a lot about writing, even if I was not satisfied by what I produced.

One problem I've sometimes had is just filling out all the events of a story. One brainstorming technique I've developed is something I call the "hit them three times" method. I am working on a new novel (just hit 7K words) and I think this has proved helpful to me in creating a complex situation for the main character that naturally leads to events the main character has to deal with. They aren't just random...each one is connected to the character and who he or she is.

First, I want you to imagine your main character. I want you to see them in your mind's eye. If possible, I want you to understand why you like this person and want to tell their story.

Now, I want you to give them three problems. Or, as I like to put it, "Hit them in the face three times." :)

You can do this in any order...

First, what is the "life-and-death" problem they will face in the story? This is the thing they have to do, the task they have to complete, the fate they need to avoid, etc. The stakes should be high. (This was a mistake I made in some earlier works...I just didn't give the main character a serious enough problem.) It doesn't have to be literally life-and-death, but it should be something pretty serious...physical injury, someone they care about getting hurt, a psychological "death" like the end of a relationship, a professional "death" like losing their job or having to return home without finishing a quest and knowing he has let people down, etc. And it can't just be one moment of the story...the threat should be something that takes up a lot of the story (although the hero may not always know they're in danger).

(It can evolve, by the way...it might start out as "I need to figure this out" and then turn into "I've figured it out and now I want to get away from it!")

Second, what is the deep pain this character carries? This is the thing that haunts them or holds them back. This can be a lot of things. Perhaps they have failed before and are afraid they might fail again, perhaps they have been betrayed or abandoned and they have trouble trusting people, perhaps someone has let them down and they are disillusioned, perhaps they are untested and have never done anything great yet and aren't sure they can do it and they're just scared they could get hurt or let people down themselves, etc.

Third, give them at least one irritation. The school bully, the worthless lazy co-worker, the insane boss, the ex-girlfriend who calls him in the middle of the night, the nosy neighbor, the friend who wants to date them and they like this person but they don't like them that way so it's really awkward, the paper boy who never quite gets the paper onto your front porch and seems to think this is amusing, etc. We all know a few people like this. These can be funny, although they don't have to be. But with few exceptions, people don't just have epic problems. They have little problems, too. And these problems can strike at any moment. Even if the hero is finally able to catch his breath from dealing with the main problem, he might suddenly have to deal with THIS, too.

If you haven't hit your main character in the face three times, the story may not be ready yet. Also, and this was something else it can be hard for me to do, you have to be able to hurt the character with whom you may identify, the character who is basically someone you like or someone who represents you getting to have some kind of adventure. But if they're not in trouble, in danger, and/or in pain, your story may not be very interesting. It can hurt, but you have to be able to do it.

I hope this helps.
Brainstorming by talking about the issue at hand, character, part of the world, plot point. I burden my partner with a lot of it, to hear me out, ask questions, and as I formulate answers or sometimes during the explanation, my mind finds the focus it needs to start with the creative process.
And sometimes I talk to our dog on our long walks or to myself :D But I need to get it verbally out of my system. As a last resort, I write it down, like a pen to paper, not with a keyboard, cause pen to paper gives me the time to think before my hand catches up with the idea.
I don't think I brainstorm as such, unless I really need to clarify some idea or plot point in my mind. Often, ideas just seem to float through my mind, and I wait to see what settles and what fades. Sometimes it's nothing more complex than a vague idea ("Airships are cool") for the setting, and the plot will end up as something unrelated. At least twice, I've written in a kind of caricatured version of history, so perhaps I'm just a really lazy historical novelist. I do find that I can get very "into" my own settings, and end up knowing a lot more background than is necessary for the stories - which I suspect a lot of SFF writers do. But then, I write novels, and often the most important bit is the original premise. From there, it's "how to the characters deal with this stuff?" (and sometimes "What jokes can I tell along the way?").
When I think of story ideas, it's usually individual scenes that come to me rather than a big picture, and then I try to build the story from there. This hasn't been great to me because I'd usually end up with a handful of scenes, but always struggled to find ways to lead from one to the other, so all I had was a list of "this happens, and then this happens, and then this happens." You get the idea.

I feel like it's gotten better since I adopted a technique I stumbled across from the creators of South Park. Eliminate the phrase "and then" and replace it with "therefore" and/or "because". So now instead of "X happens and then Y happens," it's "X happens, therefore Y happens", or "Y happens because X happened." If you find yourself with a scene where you can't reconcile this, get rid of the scene.

I feel like this has helped my storylines flow more organically and logically because it helps me make sure every scene I get to has a reason.

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