Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff
Your Writing Coach
Excerpted from Writing Coach: From Concept to Character, from Pitch to Publication
By Jurgen Wolff | Posted August 11, 2007 | Updated June 25, 2019
"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club." Jack London
Inspiration is wonderful, when it happens. The problem is that it is notoriously unreliable. In this chapter you will discover strategies and techniques that help you come up with ideas whenever you need them. I first became interested in this when I started writing for television. My agent set up appointments for me to pitch ideas to various series. At each meeting I was expected to present six to eight storylines that suited that show. I quickly realized it would be very helpful to have a method for coming up with good ideas, rather than sitting around and hoping some would occur to me randomly. Over the years I have continued to research and develop new approaches for generating ideas, and now I will share the best ones with you.
Before we start, let's consider the simple guidelines to keep in mind for effective brainstorming.
Of these four, the hardest by far to observe is number two. We seem to be trained to judge every idea instantly, and usually to judge it harshly. If you brainstorm in pairs or a group, remind each other not to judge not even with a look or an intonation, or a self-deprecating comment like, "This probably isn't a very good idea, but " If you have a particular problem with this, you probably have an out-of-control inner critic, and a later chapter will help you transform it into a more constructive inner guide.
You may want to jot down the four guidelines on a sticky note and put it on a wall somewhere near your desk. Now you're ready to let the ideas flow.
©2007 Jurgen Wolff. All rights reserved.
Jurgen Wolff is a writer who teaches creativity and right-brain writing workshops around the world. He has written half a dozen books and his screen credits include the feature film, "The Real Howard Spitz," starring Kelsey Grammer and more than 100 produced episodes of various television series. ...