At the SFF Seven this week we're asking: What’s your brainstorming process? Do you come up with ideas by yourself or do brainstorm with someone else?
Me? I don't preplot because I can't. My ideas all come to me pretty much in the course of writing. Some of them come from daydreaming about the story, but the real flow comes as I write. A lot of the time, that's the ONLY way the story flows.
The salient exception to this is that I love brainstorming with author friends. There are few things more fun for me than brainstorming a world or exits from sticky plot solutions with other creative brains. And I have just as much fun working on their stories! It's a real truth that, for whatever reason, an outside mind can almost always see the story more clearly than we can our own. I can tell other writers how to "fix" their stories and have zero ability to find solutions to my own. And vice-versa.
Especially when trad publishing wants me to tell them something about the plot before I actually write the book, I turn to my friends. I can usually say who the characters are and I can describe the situation they're in - and then my brilliant author comrades take it from there. It inevitably changes when I write the words, but they are true lifesavers in giving that much-needed perspective.
Brainstorming for the win!