Prep: Pen, Please

Writing Prep: I’m doing that right now for one of my projects, so this discussion on Go Into the Story was apropos for me.  I mentioned this recently – how I tend to do a lot of work in my head and in the form of tiny notes.  It seems like for me, too much organized preparation is a distraction, something you can get mired in.  But posters on the aforementioned topic have some interesting prep techniques.  Some of the ideas presented in comments so far include:

Listening to an inspirational piece of music that meshes with your genre

(I’ve done that.  Once, in fact, I was stuck on a scene until I heard a particular song that helped me envision the scene rolling.)

Finding a time such as while exercising where your head is empty and open to exploring story ideas

(That reminds me –some of my best ideas come first thing in the morning, right after I wake up, as long as I don’t have to bound right out of bed.  If I can lie there for 5 minutes, I come up with terrific ideas.)

Character analysis, including writing samples the character would produce

(I tried that once.  In the end, my character became very different from my initial vision in that writing sample.  But I guess it helped my character evolve for me.)

Analysis of the world of your story, including necessary research

Breaking the story plot

Writing some unorganized scenes and dialogue that might be incorporated into the story at a later point

I do feel that at some point, getting ready to write something is like making a resolution to exercise and buying the new work-out clothes.  If you do too much prep, you get distracted from the project.  Sometimes you just gotta jump on the treadmill and fall off a few times.

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