Brainstorming According to Humphrey

Hi! My name is Humphrey. I’m a cat. I’m also a writer. You probably know that by now. But what you may not know is that when I brainstorm for ideas, I like to get comfortable.

I stretch out on the couch after a nice tasty meal of tuna. I’ve got my favorite blanket, Mr. Fuzzy (the green and white one) to keep me company and my next best blanket (the red one) to keep me warm. I lie on my back and stare at the cobwebs on the ceiling and hope ideas will magically appear inside…my… head…ZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.

Oh wait a minute! That’s not how I brainstorm! That’s how I take a nap!

I know ideas don’t magically pop into anyone’s head! So when I’m ready to brainstorm, I grab a pile of books. If the main character in my story is a mouse, I head to the library and grab all the kid’s nonfiction books about mice. Then I sit down and skim through the pages, looking for character traits to give my character in my story.

If I’m writing a bedtime story, I search for all the bedtime story books I can find (usually by key word in the library computer). Notebook handy, I paws while I read each one, scribbling down notes about how the bedtime story starts, what the conflict is in the middle, and how the bedtime story ends.

You get the picture. When I brainstorm, it’s my active time of day! I look through piles of other books related to my topic and jot down lots and lots of ideas.

So how about you? How do you brainstorm ideas? How are you brainstorming ideas for the next book or the next scene or the next page you’re writing?