Girls Write Out
Thursday, August 17, 2006

Yesterday, Colleen, Denise and I had a brainstorming session. For some reason, Kristin couldn’t work it in her plans to fly in from California, and since she just moved, we agreed to give her the day off. ;-)

Anyway, we’re plugging along on Denise’s story and I had a sort of surreal moment. It’s like I was listening to our comments and seeing our POVs really shining through. We were talking about one of the characters and it went something like this:

Denise: “We need to deepen the conflict here. Give this guy some problems.”

Such a Denise thing to say.

Colleen, sitting on the edge of her seat and looking every inch Odie of Garfield fame:
“Make him blind!”

(She can’t kill him, he’s the hero or she would have had that man dead and buried).

Denise’s face lights up and I’m mortified! A gasp lodges in my throat. “NO! We can’t make him blind. At least give him one good eye! You guys are twisted!” I slump back in my seat.

No doubt had Kristin been there she would have had the protagonist show up in a great pair of shoes and matching handbag.

I can only imagine what the people around us were thinking (we were sitting outside of Starbucks).

Have you ever seen Alex & Emma, where they brainstorm together on his story? It was so like that. You finally get one thing figured out then something else changes all that.

Because we’re so different in how we come up with storyline, I think each one offers a new twist and depth to the story, which is a good thing. Though I have to say sometimes we take so many twists and turns, my head starts to rattle and I want to bang it against the wall.

So how do you do the brainstorming thing?
Diann Hunt  
posted at 8:58 AM  
  Comments (14)
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At 9:52 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Hey, what can I say? Denise wanted something really bad to happen to her guy. Actually, now that I think of it, I think it was the guy's son. If you could have seen Di's face! She said, "Totally blind? Could we give him one good eye?" She kept objecting every time we wanted something bad to happen! And she absolutely put her foot down when we talked about giving the heroine a heart or kidney problem. Some people!

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Okay, it was the guy's son!!! See what I mean, you guys? They have no mercy, regardless of the age!

Twisted, I tell you!

At 9:58 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh sure, she'll tell you that when SHE suggested we cripple the poor guy!

At 10:00 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Cripple, yes, but hello? His sight was still intact!!

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Oh sure, and who was it who first came up with the idea to make him or someone he loved damaged, oh miss sweet and light? Ha! Most people have no idea of the twisted mind that lurks behind your smile.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

I've had GREAT teachers!

And by the way, when are you going to have Maggie show up in one of your books, hmmm?? Savannah got to show up, and I'm bitter about that.

No, on second thought, you'd better leave her out of it. You would hurt her and I like Maggie. :-)

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

This brainstorming-for-plots thing is amazing. I heard Francine Rivers say in the 90s that she flew across the country and met a woman to brainstorm all her (Francine's) novels, and I thought, Wow, I thought novels were authors' creations alone. But now I'm seeing how great the collaborative effort seems to be. I do this with my husband and daughters occasionally, but that's all. But I'm game. I have this story idea in my head...

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

Oh, I had another thought about your post yesterday, Colleen. About our input on your Abomination title, based on the abominations in Proverbs. There are six woes in Isaiah. Maybe you could follow those, if you need a variation from the Proverbs thingie, for whatever reason (like the body parts situation). The woes are found in Isaiah 5 and can be summed up as these six types of sins: 1. selfish greed (verse 8); 2. drunken conduct (vv. 11-12); 3. mockery at God's power to judge their sin (vv. 18-19); 3. distortion of God's moral standards (v. 20); 5. arrogance and pride (v. 21); 6. perversion of justice (vv. 22-23). These correlate to Jesus'woes spoken to religious hypocrites in Matthew 23. He called them "hypocrites," "son of hell," "blind guides," "fools," "whitewashed tombs," "unclean," "snakes," "brood of vipers," "murderers," etc. Maybe you could stick some of these terms into your novel to spice it up? Just a thought...

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

We have such a blast when we brainstorm plots together. It's amazing how fast a group of creative thinkers can plot. Yeah, Colleen wants to kill everyone, Di sees funny around every bush, and I want to bring on the emotional pain, but that's what makes it so fun.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Kristin Billerbeck said...

I'm so glad you all laid your mental issues out here for everyone to see. Now everyone will know what I put up with. : ) Even thinking about it gives me hives. But I'm off to the spa today to celebrate moving, and just because there IS a spa nearby. I figure I have to frequent it, or it might go away. : )

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

This is too funny! You sound like Gina, Jessica and me when we brainstorm. Only we have to do it via conference calling since we all live in different states.

I love to brainstorm. I love how one idea leads to another until you finally have a full palate of conflicts and characters. I think it's probably my favorite part of writing. :o)

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Jaime said...

I brainstorm with my Dad. I write out my first "draft" make it clear that it's a DRAFT and say, "edit the CONCEPTS". It comes back red-lined, letter, writing in margin and everything changed but the character's first name. Then I tell him, to write his own book because he came up with a great plot for a totally different book cover. He grins and then we get down to business merging the two extremes ... then we self-read our own book and they get stuffed in the filing cabinet until I have time to get proactive about publishing.

It's GReAT memories for me and my dad and there's NO QUESTION as to who my first book would be dedicated to!

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Robin Caroll said...

LOLOLOLOL....y'all crack me up! But hey, I'm with C....let's either kill or maim 'em! LOL

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Camy Tang said...

I brainstorm with anyone who happens to be talking to (or IMing) me and who doesn't suddenly discover she needs to go take in the laundry. Robin is the only person who tells me, "No, don't have time now." But it certainly makes her stop calling me at flippin' 9 in the morning.



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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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