Ryan Dave Jimenez

A Personal Blog On Creating Things

How To Write Stories #4: Storing Ideas

This is the fourth entry in a series on how to make your own web manga.

This is an optional but highly recommended step before we start designing characters. Feel free to skip this post if you’re itching to start drawing. But read on if you want to know how to never run out of ideas.

Let’s say a good idea pops into your head one day. Out of the blue it just hit you. The more you thought about it, the more awesome the idea sounded. So you take a mental note and proceed with your day.

Tomorrow comes and you remember that great idea. It still sounds awesome. You definitely should act on it. But not today as you’re busy. Maybe tomorrow or in the coming days.

Weeks pass and you suddenly remember that great idea. But there’s a problem…. You vaguely remember the details. Or you don’t remember it at all. Sounds familiar?

The Types Of Memory

Our brains have two kinds of memory. Short term and long term.

Short term memory is when you have to remember something for a few minutes or days. Like a number you have to call to get pizza delivered. Or the room number of your friend who you’re visiting in their hotel.

Long term memory is the opposite. It’s for remembering things for months or years. Like driving a car or riding a bike. Or a skill that you have. Playing a musical instrument, computer programming, baking, and so on.

Whenever we get ideas, we tend to store them in our short term memory. Hence, the high probability of us forgetting them. Unless we immediately execute these ideas. Which is rare.

Store your ideas in long term memory.

But here’s another problem…. Most of us don’t have good long term memories either. (There are exceptions though).

Our brains have a finite capacity for remembering. I don’t know what that number is but there’s a limit. The only way to free up space is to forget and unlearn things. And that’s something we don’t want to do. Who wants to be dumber? That is why humans invented technology.

With technology, we can extend our capacity to remember. We basically outsource things to keep our brains from getting overwhelmed. So use technology as an extension of your long term memory.

Write down your ideas. Use a notebook, your laptop, or your smartphone. Anything will do. Just write them down.

I personally have a simple note app on my phone where all my ideas are stored. Whenever I think of something, I just whip out my phone and type it in. That’s how you create a well of ideas that you can draw from whenever you need it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *