The Art of Brainstorming: What You Need to Know
Screenwriting Workshop Lesson: Adapt to a lifestyle that enables creativity.
By Jen B.
Great ideas are the building blocks of a great screenplay which leads to the creation of a possible blockbuster movie. It is necessary for a screenplay writer to be able to produce a variety of ideas but the best ideas are created when a group of creative people work together to brainstorm. Collaboration with like-minded and creative people can elevate any idea or story concept that you come up with because the details that you might miss as a writer yourself, may be noticed by the person you are working with. To be able to create good stories and experience creative bliss, writers, producers and directors need to learn how to work together and brainstorm for ideas and refine them.
To have a successful brainstorming session, you need to first sit with people who are a perfect creative match with you. No matter how great of an idea you start off with, if the people that you are discussing them with have different approaches and goals in mind then it will not work. It is important that before you start working on screenplay ideas and go into their details, you pair up with people who are aligned with you on how they want the story to go. To be able to successfully brainstorm you need to share a vision with the people you are working with.
After the first step, which is finding people who are on the same page with you and agree on the macro aspects of the idea, then you have to move on to how to actually brainstorm. Treat it like screenwriting workshops and use it to enhance and improve your idea generation and writing skills.
We are here to help guide you in this perilous journey so prepare yourself and let’s dive right into what you need to do to come out victorious at the end of the brainstorming struggle.
• Know What Creative Role You Play
Everyone that is part of the creative process needs to know exactly what creative role they have in the construction of the story’s ideas. Each person has their own responsibilities when the process of writing and making the film starts. The people should give their inputs based on the practicality and possibility of execution of the idea in real life within the limits of resources, time and equipment among others.
A producer will give general ideas and relay their thoughts to the writer who has the power of creative execution of the script but they will also keep the production issues and elements of a screenplay in light of their work in mind while doing it. They have to think about how to sell your screenplay and if it would be possible or not while the director will keep the visuals of the story in mind, bringing the story to life.
Each person part of the brainstorming process has something to bring to the table, don’t hold back your opinions and ideas.
• Create a Free Space to Share Ideas and Opinions
Having a free and safe space to bounce ideas off of each other is crucial in brainstorming. Allowing people to speak their mind and give ideas without any judgment helps boost creativity.
Freedom to think and speak is necessary for creativity to happen and the best ideas are formed and found when people let their mind be free. When you are trying to come up with new ideas or select the details of an already present idea, let people speak up and do not cut them off. Converse with each other in the brainstorming session. Many ideas shared may be bad but you have to go through this process to eliminate the bad ones and find the great ones.
It will be great if you try to build up on the base set by others around you, cooperating and collaborating with each other as you go.
• Breathe in the Fresh Air and Think
Staying indoors is not always the best step to let your mind create and discover. Fresh air and movement can allow your body to soak in the scenery and not feel limited, letting your mind roam freely.
If you are trying to brainstorm ideas then consider going outdoors with your group, taking a walk in the open with the sunlight shining on you, have a conversation, bounce ideas off of each other and if you come up with something great then note it down or record the idea in your phone. Staying glued to a computer can make our brain feel trapped and just researching already existing content may affect your own creative process so this method will clear your mind of the distractions and let it run wild, creating art.
• Keep it Collaborative
There may be moments where you might get possessive of your ideas or be stubborn about changing or rejecting them but you need to remember that this is a collaborative effort which requires everyone to work together and support each other. When you are expressing your opinion, it is not bad to be passionate about it but allow the other person to express their views on the idea and give their suggestions on improving it. It is possible that their perspective may elevate the idea even more or they may point out something that you had missed. Thus, collaboration will bring finesse in the idea elevating its level and quality.
• Don’t Stop the Brainstorming Process
Just because the brainstorming session has ended does not mean that your work has ended. No, the journey has just begun. The first session/meeting only starts you off and sets the base for the screenplay‘s story or the kind of screenwriting language you may use but there are still many elements that have to be addressed.
Make sure that you keep in contact with your partners afterwards as well and share any new ideas or thoughts that you might have about the project to keep the momentum going and for creativity to flourish.
To think of new ideas and create a good story you need to brainstorm. Enjoy this process as this is where you have the most freedom to express any new ideas or stories that come to mind, bringing into existence a masterpiece.