Brain-busting for new ideas

I recently tried to come up with the name for an evil villain in a piece of fiction I was writing

After a few days without satisfactory results, I found myself falling back on a simple method of brain-dumping, brain-busting, or to use a more recent term a bit of mental deep-diving.

Here are my unedited free-associations.

The task:

To find a name for someone described as a shrunken desiccated husk of a man, from whom all joy and juices have drained away. He is clearly of the lizard family. he has the unblinking eyes and bloodless lips of the undead. There is a sinister, frightening, inhuman power about him.

When no name came to mind

I have long advocated the principle of freewheeling, trying to capture fleeting thoughts on paper (or, in this case on my aging iPad. The justification is that some kind of jolt is required. Various techniques are well-known and catalogued over many years. What follows is not offered as evidence for the success of what I did, but as an illustration of the word-salads produced

The Word Salad

Shrek, Desmond Dry, Redmond Drivel, Blister, Tylor, Sinfield, Zac


The Pustular Gaston Groap

Plunge Biggedrake, Peter Plugge,

Pustule Puckle Puce Puldge Pulge Glute

Gaston Glute Pleute

Gaston de Pleute

Milton William Polder, Milt Polder

Gryce Polder




Norbut Puce

Oliver Puce (aka Pustule Puke).

Choose wisely

How to choose? It is easier if you have a list of barriers or criteria for reaching a short-list of ideas. The might include Novelty, Appropriateness, Absence of obscene implications.

What happened next

I successfully escaped my temporary brain-freeze.  I will reveal what happened next, in a future posting.

Before that, I invite students of all ages to suggest how they might have joined in the brain-bashing, if they had been invited to do so.

Alternative suggestions are welcome, and will be acknowledged in the appropriate place (particularly if they assist me directly or indirectly in my immediate need for a name for my fictional villain).

See also

My recent note on dreaming up and selecting names, written at the time of the Boaty Mc Boatface news story


One Response to Brain-busting for new ideas

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