Brainstorming Tips for Teen Writers


Authors of any age can experience a shortage of ideas or get stuck sometimes. That’s when a good brainstorming session comes in, so you can get going on your book, article, or blog. So where do you start? Here are some of my favorite brainstorming tips for teen writers:

1 FREE WRITE

Just let any ideas you have flow freely on your paper, tablet, or computer. Don't edit or throw out anything. Don't worry about spelling, punctuation, or even if it is a repeat. Do set a time limit on the activity--10 or 15 minutes. Sometimes fresh ideas will come to mind that you haven't thought about!

2 LIST

Just write down words that relate to a topic. Pick a word out of the dictionary and write anything that relates to it. It could be a Pros and Cons list. It could be words or phrases. Later you can expand them into sentences and conversations.

3 ORGANIZE

Keep an online folder for each story topic. I save notes on my phone or jot them down in a journal, but I save the ideas all in one place, so I can keep that idea organized. Sometimes the stories can overlap but I like to try to develop them each on their own before I ask myself, "what if..."

4 RESEARCH

If you have some topic ideas, you can brainstorm further by researching the topics. What headlines or articles stand out to you? This research can expand on your ideas. Plus, so many good books (both fiction and nonfiction) depend on thorough research, so this is a good skill for us teen authors to learn now!

5 WRITE

Pick a topic and write. One of my favorite brainstorming tips for teens is to stop brainstorming and just write. I did the 1K challenge and it was one of the best writing activities I’ve tired. It’s just a draft, you just need to get in the habit of building momentum. Besides, this type of writing challenge can inspire new topics and be one of the most productive brainstorming sessions you have.

When it comes to writing, you can always edit. Don’t feel stuck. Just start writing. Write lists, pro/cons, short paragraphs and just see what ends up on the page. What you read may surprise you and inspire you to write your book, article, or blog. Revise it later.

What are your favorite brainstorming tips for teen authors? Share them with me on the Katrina Kusa Facebook page!

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