5 Tips to Brainstorming a Limp Story to Give It New Life – Limp Noodle Revolt

A few years back we discovered that a few of my kids had a wheat allergy. If you haven’t tried to remove gluten/wheat from your diet you’re probably saying, “How hard can it be?”

HARD!! Did you know that even some ketchups have gluten???

Adults make changes with a big more acceptance than kids. When the fam runs from across the house at the words, “Supper,” they are expecting to get more than limp noodles.

Let’s just say the first few attempts at finding rice type noodles were a bit disgusting. I didn’t know pasta could look so brown and slimy.

To my gluten free readers out there, I just want to say we have finally found the not slimy, yummy-enough-for-all-of-us-to-eat rice noodle. And now I’ve learned enough great recipes that I don’t always have to cook in two separate pots.

Those first limp-noodle experiences got me to thinking about our sometimes limp stories. Yes, I know a bit left field, but let’s face it we sometimes need to lead a limp noodle revolt.

5 Brainstorming Tips for a Limp Story:

*Set a timer and brainstorm a list of all of the reasons you feel your story is limp. Why would you focus on what’s wrong with your story? Because sometimes we don’t even know ourselves what seems off until we start to talk about it. Once you get it all out there it likely won’t be shouting as loudly.

*Identify the top three contributors to the limp feel of your story. You can’t possibly work on everything at once. If you address the biggest culprits, often that will resolve the problem.

*Brainstorm in individual sessions each of these problem areas. It would be helpful at this stage to brainstorm with a buddy or two. Sometimes a set of fresh eyes will bring new ideas to light.

*Look for opposites. In the most boring parts of your story look for a way to turn a  element on its end.

*Infuse a creative spin or information. Go back and research the area where your story is set, or the time period. Look for something you and others don’t know. By infusing some new original information you may find more available conflict, a new profession, or even a subplot to add punch to your story.

A great example of creative spin can be found in the book Abomination by Colleen Coble. The crime also has a geocaching element that is fascinating for readers.

What do you think makes a book limp-noodle-ish?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

10 thoughts on “5 Tips to Brainstorming a Limp Story to Give It New Life – Limp Noodle Revolt

  1. Great tips, Michelle! I like the idea to focus on three things you can fix. It doesn’t feel so overwhelming that way.

  2. Melissa Tagg says:

    To me, a book is at its limpest (most limp?) when I, as the reader, don’t really know how to root for the character. When they don’t have a dream or a goal…characters without a set dream and clear “noble quest” (in MBT terms) tend to be very reactionary–just reacting to the things happening to them rather than making things happen themselves. And that just bugs me. (Case in point: a TV show I REALLY wanted to like this summer but just couldn’t get into because the main character didn’t seem to really want anything or make anything happen.)

    Great tips, Michelle!

  3. jeannemt says:

    When there isn’t tension in the scenes, stories tend to drag. Or, when the end is anti-climactic. 🙂 I loved your tips. I’m thinking these can even apply to scenes. I have one I need to work on. I think I’ll start by identifying what’s not working with it in my mind.
    Thanks, Michelle!

  4. Lisa Jordan says:

    Books with cliched plots are limp. When the writer doesn’t take the time to come with something slightly different, I’m not so eager to read the book. Love your suggestions, Brainstorming Queen!

  5. Michelle Lim says:

    Thanks, my Cliff Whispering Pal! I agree, there is a certain amount of redundancy that can be brain numbing.

  6. To me a limp book is one where the character keeps rehashing a problem and I want to say, DO SOMETHING.

  7. Michelle Lim says:

    I’m so with you there, Pat!!! I just want to tell them to get on with their life already!

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