Boost Your Creativity: Scheme

think stencil art & graffiti cat
think stencil art & graffiti cat (Photo credit:

Sometimes creativity needs a little prompting. It is useful to have several plans of action in place for when inspiration refuses to strike. Maybe it just isn’t angry enough. Brainstorming and experimenting offer a fallback plan. They also offer a way to enhance those inspired ideas. They are ways to be more creative but I also think of them as being very structured ways. Then again, I’m a very structured and analytical person (in case my writing voice doesn’t give that away). I come up with plans. I scheme. What do you do when feeling uninspired? What are some less structured options?

But “scheme” has other definitions that fit brainstorming and experimenting. A scheme is also a group of related ideas. When you brainstorm with a purpose, the ideas are usually linked somehow. Because they are linked (by a common character, cause, or clichĂ©), they can be combined to make that kernel thought more unique, complex, and surprising — more creative.

I even think the notion of a “scheme” being something crafty comes into play. Or your scheme may be simply clever instead of crafty. You still want to surprise your reader. Looking at the bigger picture, you might want to lead your reader’s thinking in one direction and then effect a dramatic reversal. This is especially true in mystery plots and subplots. Brainstorming and experimentation still help you anticipate the reader’s thinking and assumptions. Brainstorming and experimentation help you circumvent the obvious and overused while still letting you get to where you want to go.

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