Unless you are a recent arrival from a distant galaxy, you have likely heard of a guy named Walt Disney. Because of the vast Disney Empire, many don’t stop and consider what it was that allowed Walt Disney to be so creative, and so successful. Luckily, those who have studied how people do become successful have uncovered his methods. Methods that you can use when writing your next bestselling novel.
Many writers when sitting down to create a novel or short story try to do it all at once. Some even write without having a clear outcome in mind. They just write and write, and when they are finished, they run a spell checker, and that’s that. If you can do that, that is fantastic. You are one of the truly gifted creative geniuses who can create a wonderful story out of thin air. The rest of us need some kind of structure. This is where Mr. Disney’s creative brainstorming method comes in.
Whenever Disney was creating new idea for a character, or a story, or a ride for one of his theme parks, he had three distinct components. The Dreamer, The Critic, and the Realist. By combining all three of these into each of his ideas, they were not only wonderfully creative, but they also made sound business sense, and they made a lot of money.
Because you are a writer, you likely don’t have a team of experts to advise you along the way, so you’ll have to wear all three hats. And maybe a pair of Mickey Mouse ears if you have any.
When thinking like The Dreamer, let your imagination soar. Whatever idea you can think of for your characters and your stories, let ’em fly. Write down anything and everything pertaining to your story. Don’t hold anything back. Any idea is fine.
Next, introduce The Critic to your piece of work. The critic’s job is to go through and take out anything that just doesn’t smell right. For example, if you have some Aliens coming down to help out a lost hiker in the wilderness, that might not be a great idea. This is where you trim out all the parts of your story that don’t belong. After you’ve let your inner critic have her say, it’s time for the realist.
When thinking as The Realist, think of the customer in mind. Would somebody want to read this? Are there other stories out there which are similar to this that have shown proven marketability? Is your story too similar to others that are out there? When you go through your story as The Realist, read it with the fresh of eye of a consumer that just spent twenty bucks on your story. Does it provide twenty dollars worth of entertainment?
Once your inner dreamer, critic, and realist are in agreement, then you’ve got a marketable story. One that will be read, enjoyed, and recommended to others.