Looping is a variation on free writing. You sit down and write for at least ten minutes. Write without thinking. Don’t edit as you go. Write as fast as you can. That’s all you do for free writing. Looping takes it a few steps further.
After you do the first ten minutes of free writing, read over what you wrote. Circle or highlight any key thoughts or ideas that appear inn that free writing session. Take the first key thought or idea. Set your timer for ten minutes and free write about that thought or idea. Again, write as fast as you can and don’t edit. Concentrate on the thought or idea. When the ten minutes is up, read what you wrote. Circle or highlight key thoughts or ideas. Take the first thought or idea. Set your timer. You get the idea.
After several repetitions, you will find you have a very specific idea. You will also have information about the topic. Looping is a good way to generate ideas, whether story ideas or ways to twist your plot. Start with a broad idea and drill down until you have specifics. You will also have a record of how you came to the ultimate idea. Then you can determine if the idea will work for your needs. If it doesn’t, you can go back to the next thought in the original session. Then, repeat the looping exercise four or five times. Afterward, you will have a lot of information on your topic or idea.
No matter how many times you need to loop, you will get something of value. Even if it is only a page or two of thoughts. The idea is to get some specific and detailed ideas. This type of brainstorming is a find method of getting what you need. You might even find you have more ideas than you needed at the start. That’s ok. You can store them and use them in other pieces, if you like.
Looping may seem messy, but it is actually quite organized. You start with something vague and end up with something specific which is always useful. If you use this method to generate story ideas, you may find you have several to choose from when you finish. That is a good thing. You can write the original story and return to you looping notes and get another one.
The point here is that brainstorming, whatever the method, is a tool. Looping is one of them. If this method doesn’t work for you, there are other methods. Research them and give them a try. You might find one that works quite well for you. There is no hard-set choice here. If this method doesn’t work, keep trying. all you need is the initial free writing session. You might find you need a few more loops. Be flexible. You’ll be glad of it.