So I've begun to brainstorm Novel #2. And I've... never really brainstormed before.
When I started with CotF, I really had no idea what I was doing. So I just sat down and started writing (and then had to fix everything in subsequent reads). That is something I want to avoid for this novel, lol.
So I started brainstorming. I think there are three main things to work out when beginning. 1) Characters 2) Plot 3) Setting. Makes sense, right?
For me, plot is the most difficult. Usually I already have some idea of the premise and who the characters are. But creating a problem and solution and actual plot, takes a little more thinking and analyzing. I get one of those yellow lined pads of paper and just write. I take my premise and try to poke as many holes in it as possible so that I can come up with solutions. If I have more than one solution, I'll explore a few of them, asking as many questions as possible, and then decide which I like best. Then go onto the next hole and rinse and repeat.
Next are the protagonists, so for me, the main character and the love interest. Both need to have wants and motivations, but also flaws. Maybe a secret. Maybe a quirk or two to make them interesting. But they also have to fit together. No insta-love here! There has to be a reason for why they are drawn to each other, for why they are compatible. Does one want something that the other can give? Does he find his strength in her? Something to make them connected. That's that part I'm brainstorming right now and have to do some soul-searching (his soul, not mine) to figure that out.
For this novel, I had a hard time deciding setting. It wasn't my inspiration this time, like it was with CotF, so I wasn't really sure where to put it. Could it be contemporary? Not really. I mean it could, since it's founded on real things, but for what I intended there had to be some paranormal stuff. So Urban Fantasy? There aren't any other races, no wearwolves or faeries, so probably not. Paranormal? Maybe, but I kind of wanted some other world stuff. SF? Maybe. Dystopian? I didn't really want to write a dystopian, plus my government wasn't flawed, per se, just a little futuristic. So SF was calling to me, sort of like the movie In Time except with energy controlling everything instead of time, kind of a light SF. But I need to do some real world-building to make sure. So I've requested a bunch of books from the library on YA SF (and also just read FEED by M.T. Anderson) to do some research. When in doubt, read, right?
How do you brainstorm? Or do you just start writing?