Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pre-Project Prep

You're about to step onto the field before the big game...
what have you done get pumped up?

It's almost time to take the stage before the biggest performance of in your life...
what have you done to prepare?

You're ready to start writing a new project...
how do you amp up?

I view writing a novel as a huge, potentially life-altering event so I treat it as such. I'm getting ready to jump into a new novel and I'm all kinds of excited. Giddy, even. Here are a few things I do while getting ready for a the new world and characters I'm creating.

CHARACTER STUDIES
   *Physical description
   *GMC = Goal, Motivation, Conflict (Thank you to Nic, my agent, for this!)
   *Relationship to other characters
   *Personality (traits, characteristics, habits, hobbies)
   *Events (1 or 2 things that have affected them, positive or negative)
   *Personal playlist to understand better who this person is

SETTING SKETCH (I don't literally sketch it, but you could)
   *Time, place, specific locale 
   *Physical description of architecture, climate, flora/fauna, "feel"
   *Broad to specific (city/state/country to bedroom)
                ...some of the setting for me evolves while I'm writing
RESEARCH
   *Google searches if needed
   *Speaking to real-life people if needed

BEAT SHEET/OUTLINE
   *I fill in Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet. I posted about it earlier HERE. (Thank you to Marisa, my mentor & friend, for this!)
        ...then I expand on that filling in more details, creating a more complete outline - mine is still
             quite brief compared to a lot of plotters (I'm a recovering pantser)

PLAYLISTS to create mood/ambiance for specific scenes
   *I make playlists as I write, as my story evolves, but I usually have a few songs I start with that really capture the mood of the story, or the lyrics resonate for whatever reason.

SHARE
   *I don't share my full idea with a lot of people right out of the gate but I'm usually so excited I have to tell a select one or two people (besides my agent now). Those people are typically my hubs & a CP. I usually want some feedback, too. You know, the is-this-a-good-idea-or-am-I-off-my-rocker? initial feedback.

So, what do you do before you start diving into a sparkly, new manuscript? Or do you just start writing?


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