I have a bit of a weird workflow to most things, especially when it comes to writing. When I have an idea for example, I like to ramble and add all the details that come to my mind in a free flowing kind of way, which usually results in a huge wall of text. Then later, I take a look at this wall of text and cut it down, usually by making a mind map of it, removing all of the unnecessary rambly bits, cleaning it up and making it easier to understand and follow. Out of all the things I wrote in that wall of text, only about 10% of the content survives the purge.

Is there a word for this kind of "destructive" way of working?

  • 2
    brainstorming? Aug 7, 2018 at 13:40
  • @OliverMason I don't know if that's a good fit. Isn't brainstorming just about collecting ideas, regardless of what happens to them afterwards? The word im looking for is brainstorming + the cutting down of "fat" of the brainstorming session. Maybe there's a more specific word?
    – user224537
    Aug 7, 2018 at 13:48
  • 2
    Normally after a brainstorming session (which would often involve more than one person) you go through and sift the results. I can't think of a single word for this; so I would assume it is part of the brainstorming process, as just coming up with a load of stuff is not particularly useful. Aug 7, 2018 at 13:50
  • @OliverMason In that case, feel free to add it as an answer. I will leave the question open for a longer time, however. Maybe someone else has a better idea.
    – user224537
    Aug 7, 2018 at 14:07
  • If you were TMBG, you’d call this process “the truth is where the sculptor’s chisel chipped away the lie”. Of course, Michaelangelo said it first... at least, apocryphally, he did.
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 7, 2018 at 14:09

2 Answers 2


This workflow, its whole process is exactly this, a brainstorming session.

brainstorming - a conference technique of solving specific problems, amassing information, stimulating creative thinking, developing new ideas, etc., by unrestrained and spontaneous participation in discussion.

Now, brainstorming is a two-step process. In case you care to know the names of these two steps:

First is the ideas generation, it's when you're producing all sorts of ideas. You're free to come up with as many ideas as you're creativity allows you to.

Second is the ideas evaluation, there's a whole lot of different strategies to narrow these ideas down and choose the best one. It can be done through filtering out simply bad ideas, then combining ideas, deconstructing and reconstructing them, and much more. All of that in order to ultimately select and implement the finest idea.


Yes. Drafting (specifically, stream-of-conscienceness) and editing. :)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.