After many years of working for the government as an industrial engineer, Pam McCutcheon left to pursue her first love—a career in publishing. Fond of incorporating humor in her books and classes, Pam is an award-winning author of romantic comedy, paranormal romance, and fantasy short stories under her own name, and young adult urban fantasy under the name Parker Blue. She has put these to use in developing writing classes and in writing two books for writers: Writing the Fiction Synopsis and The Writer's Brainstorming Kit (with Michael Waite). She can be found in beautiful Colorado Springs with her rescue dogs.

Michael Waite is the principal of Bonefrog Creative, and has developed a multifaceted expertise in marketing, design and business communications. After some ten years of working for design shops, an ad agency, and a magazine, Michael opened his own creative shop in 1994 and chased the projects that challenged and intrigued him—where ever they were found. He writes extensively for clients in a diverse collection of business arenas and lives in a quite rural valley in southeast Idaho with his wife, a huntin' cat, and a small herd of Macs.

The Writer's Brainstorming Kit by Pam McCutcheon and Michael Waite

Ever have problems brainstorming a book with just yourself? Can't break out of those old, familiar tropes and stereotypes? The Writer's Brainstorming Kit, Thinking in New Directions is your solution to rejuvenate your writing and kick those old, worn-out ideas to the curb.

The authors will show you how to use a regular deck of playing cards and random draws to break out of your old linear way of thinking and be challenged to create new characters and character traits, determine their internal and external conflicts, and create an original plot, complete with the character's ordinary world, the trigger event, turning points, and the black moment and resolution.

No idea how to start putting together a story? No problem—the book can help you create one. Stuck in the middle of a story and don't know what motivates your characters or what happens next? Draw a card, and let the suggestions spur original ideas. Whether you're writing short stories, novellas, or novels, this book, combined with your own deck of playing cards, can help you think in new, exciting directions.


Pam McCutcheon is working with WordFire Press to generate more publicity and media exposure for our titles, and she brings to the table her skillset of promoting indie titles. She offered her Writer's Brainstorming Kit, coauthored with Michael Waite, for the bundle. This gives her a unique opportunity to do her stuff—twice. – Kevin J. Anderson



  • "The Writer's Brainstorming Kit seemed like a truly dumb idea, until I sptarted using it. Now I wouldn't be without it. I can't recommend it highly enough. Every writer I've shared it with wants to steal mine, but I tell them they have to buy their own. So should you. It is marvelous."

    – Carolyn McSparren, award-winning romance author
  • "The Writer's Brainstorming Kit will join your dictionary and your thesaurus as a must-have tool for the writing trade. After the first time, you'll wonder how you ever wrote without it!"

    – Laura Hayden, romance novelist
  • "I'd heard about this kit on some writing sites, and thought it might be fun to play with. Since one of my degrees is in psychology, I knew the principle was based on sound science.… Sometimes … we become trapped in a seeming endless 'outer belt' circling around our habitual thought patterns. For a writer, this often leads to repetitive plots and similar characters. While a certain amount of dependability can help a writer create a solid fan base, too much of the 'same old thing' can turn into a boring trap. The Writer's Brainstorming Kit is like having your own Vogon Constructor Fleet hurrying to your very own corner of the Neurological Galaxy in order to construct a series of new Hyperspace Bypasses. In other words, it's an ingenuous cure for the creativity doldrums…It's lots of fun, it's stimulating, and it's productive."

    – Sea Laughing, Amazon reviewer



A recurring refrain in the writing business is that editors want fresh material—something different they haven't seen before. We'd all like to oblige them, but sometimes it's difficult to come up with a fully-fleshed, original concept when the only person available to brainstorm with is yourself.

Since we're all limited to one brain, we unfortunately fall into habits of characterization and plotting. Left to ourselves, we develop ruts of linear thinking and tend to respond in the same way to the same conditions (e.g., to the same basic plot lines). To break out of these ruts, we need outside input to trigger our thinking in new directions, to give our creativity something different and inspiring to play with.

Finding another person or three to share ideas with is one solution, but there are a couple of problems inherent in that. First, others aren't always available when inspiration or the creative urge strikes . . . and people have a tendency to be a bit peeved if you wake them at odd hours to listen to your latest brainchild.

Second, others have a tendency to become enamored with their own ideas—whether you find them useful or not—and veer off on unusable tangents. If they're writers, it might become even more difficult as they take fire from their own ideas and spin out scenarios that ignore your needs.

The ideal situation is to find a better way of brainstorming with yourself. That's what The Writer's Brainstorming Kit is all about—a way of using random concepts to trigger new associations in your mind, to break out of your conventional linear mode of thinking and take flight in new, unexpected directions.

So, give it a try. No matter whether you need help with getting started, creating a story from scratch, breaking through a block, adding depth to a character, or finding a new plot twist, shuffle your cards, and let them help you create something fresh and different.