Have you had a brain-gasm today?

One of the most fun things to do as a writer is to brainstorm about a new story, about who the characters are, what kinds of predicaments they get themselves into, and how these predicaments should be different from but like other stories, as there are so many thousands of variations on stories.  It’s fun to think of how a layer of subtext can be worked into a work in progress (WIP) by parodying a given story, especially one that is not the same genre as the WIP.

When a session is going really well, there is laughter and a flow of endorphins that causes a cascade of good vibrations in the mind, and what you get is a brain-gasm.

In my case, the inside of my head feels very sparkly, as new neural connections are made with new ideas grafted on to old, or better yet, a new twist to an old trope goes off in a completely unexpected direction.

Yesterday was one of those productive sessions, with lots of thoughts bout how the villian in WIP sees herself, why she is motivated to do what she does, and how she justifies her actions. I realized I had not found (made up ) her weakness and what she is afraid of, for all characters have desires, needs and fears. I made her too powerful with no weakness (This deathstar is fully operational), and that gives my protagonist nothing to work with. Of course, she has to work to discover this weakness, and the brainstorming that accompanies that is most pleasurable.

In my case, my trusted brainstorming partner is my daughter. Our work does not overlap in subject matter, and we both work on ideas for each other’s projects, but she does not steal my ideas and I don’t steal hers. It would not make sense, and we each can bounce images and thoughts between us. Since we know each other so well, we often get better ideas just from the suggestion the other has, there’s the sparkle-effect.

I imagine that this would happen with other kinds of brainstorming too, but writing fiction, especially funny fiction, makes it easier to go to the silly side.  The silly side is where the best ideas are growing wild and sweet, ready for the picking.

Here’s hoping you have a brain-gasm soon.

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7 Responses to Brain-gasms!

  1. Rhia Roberts says:

    How wonderful to be able to work with your daughter. I loved your comment about the inside of your head feeling sparkly…I often talk about being sparkly inside. I wonder if that’s a common trait among writers? Now I think about it a bit more, I don’t think Steven King feels sparkly, do you?

    • Charlotte Henley Babb says:

      I am blessed with a wonderful relationship with my daughter (30), who still lives at home and is a housemate rather than a dependent. Check out her website:

      King says he has a hard-on when he writes. Sparkly probably doesn’t cover it…but then he is a guy.

  2. Thank you for sharing and trying to get my sparkly back!


  3. Andrew says:

    This was a great read thanks for the share Charlotte. I have always wanted to write a book. For many many years I have been starting and stopping. Wish I could get my focus and finish one. Even if it was just for my own satisfaction. “)

    • Charlotte Henley Babb says:

      I highly recommend Randy Ingermanson (the snowflake guy) and Larry Brooks’ Storyfix websites. They have lots of information about how to craft a novel or story, and make it work. I’m working on book two and have several others in the wings for when I get the backstories and details worked out. What it takes is to keep writing, and it really helps to have a group of writers who also keep writing.