Ideas: Thought Showers

Writers are constantly on the lookout for original ideas. This is our subject for February. How exactly can you come up with your own original ideas over and over again? Well, that all depends on you, but there are some techniques we can all use to help us come up with ideas for our writing.

In this first discussion, we will examine “thought showers” (may of you probably call them “brainstorms” or “mind maps”). These are simple, quick diagrams that you can use to get the basic ideas in your head down onto paper, develop them and connect them to one another.

What is a Thought Shower?

A thought shower is usually a diagram with one general idea in the middle (e.g. “horror”, “poem”) and other smaller, more detailed ideas spread around it. These ideas are all connected to either the main idea or one another. Take a look at the example below. The central subject is “Genre” and around this are various genres with examples of story lines in each.

Image credit: (Rebecca Pearse)

Why is a Thought Shower Useful?

A thought shower is not just useful for writers. You can use it for many ideas, but it is useful for helping writers to develop their ideas in a short space of time. It allows you to see the progression your mind has made from one thought to the next. It also allows you to connect ideas you have previously had with one another, as the information is laid out clearly in front of you in a handy diagram.

How can a Thought Shower Help my Writing?

A thought shower is a great way to get lots of loose or stray thoughts together in one place and build upon them. These may be words, phrases, plots or more general ideas, such as a character’s personality. You may find that, when you create a thought shower, you come up with ideas you had not previously considered and end up writing something else altogether!

This month’s theme is IDEAS. If you have written something that you would like me to share on this blog on the theme of original ideas, then please post a link in the comments or email me on with the subject: Ideas.

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