- You have your story idea, but maybe you still feel unsure about it.
- You are enjoying exploring facets of ideas, perhaps freewriting but you're not ready to edit or structure yet.
- You have lots more research or interviews to do (maybe you haven't even started this). You need to dig deep into the characters you want to people your book with--profile? backstory for each? character arc? These may change a lot during this stage.
- Brainstorming ideas--this can be the fun part! Let your imagination soar! It is very helpful to brainstorm with a writing group or writing friends. Many brains are better than one!
- Inner and outer story -Inner story is the meaning, the why. Outer story is the event or what's happening, where, with whom, when. Most writers naturally excel in one of these. This "outer story" information is crucial, but it's only half the picture. Inner story counts equally-the meaning of the plot (what changes because of what happens) and the meaning of the research (what does it mean to your reader).
- Writing in islands (instead of by outline or chronology). Islands are single scenes, or snippets of information, or a setting description, or a character sketch. They do not necessarily have a beginning, middle, and end. Writing teachers have discovered that writers who work in islands rather than via an outline often include the inner story more readily. This is because islands are not gathered in a linear fashion. They appear in random bits. I'm finding this a great way to 'discover' my story.
- Brainstorming list. A primary Hunting and Gathering phase tool. Keeping a brainstorming list is the a very effective way to counteract writer's block-you always have something to write about. And if you can free yourself from having to write your book in sequence, or chronology, islands can be tackled in any order.
|Is this a keeper?|
- How about you? What stage is your writing at? Have you got any pearls of great price to add?
- If you don't have Mary Carroll Moore on your blogroll, I highly recommend her great writing advice. She also offers online courses.