So you’ve got this idea for a story . . . What do you do now? Do you sit down and pound out something? Then, encounter bewilderment five chapters later?
|Here I am "playing" while working.|
Pre-writing is about uncovering—discovering—the story you’ve been inspired to tell. When you take what you’ve unearthed so far, throw it into the cooker of your creativity, and let it simmer on the stove of your imagination.
I’m giving you permission to play.
Play? I’m supposed to be working.
Discovery on the front end of writing will pay huge dividends on the back end. Let the story cook in your mind before you touch the keyboard or risk detours that lead nowhere because you didn’t really know what your story was about much less where the story was going.
When the writing stops being fun, your creativity suffers. Allow yourself to re-discover what made writing fun in the first place. Release the inner child that once couldn’t record ideas fast enough—ideas that sprang unbidden (or did they?).
Fundamental to a child’s development, play is their job. Play, with discovery’s unfolding promise, is essential to your story’s development, too.
Ideas emerge from that wellspring inside you—placed there by God who hardwired you to be a writer. Fill the tank till it overflows. The overflow becomes your inspiration. Don’t kid yourself—this is work, too. But important, fun work.
To recapture the fun in the discovery “work” of pre-writing:
ReadIt’s essential to the creative process—not an indulgence, but a necessity for writers. To fill the tank, read at least one book a week. Carry a book/e-reader with you wherever you go. Reading can guide your story’s direction. Not plagiarism, but as “iron sharpens iron” so another writer’s creativity can fuel your own creativity.
Let the subconscious to take over
|If you "discover" in the shower, be prepared for higher water bills|
Create a visual montage of characters/placesThis will aid you in deepening characterization, generating plot outcome, and in marketing your novel. I “audition” actors/models using Pinterest boards for each novel.
|Beneath a Navajo Moon|
Watch TV and movies
Engage all five senses
If by Chapter 12, you find yourself stymied? Don’t panic—the story hasn’t finished cooking yet. Revisit the discovery techniques that work for you, and access the inner child to guide you around the next bend. You must give the story the time it—not you—needs.
Discovery fun first = Happy writing
Lisa Carter is the author of two romantic suspense novels, Carolina Reckoning and Beneath A Navajo Moon; and Aloha Rose, a contemporary romance in the Quilts of Love series. Under a Turquoise Sky releases August 2014.
She and her husband have two daughters and make their home in North Carolina. When she isn’t writing, Lisa enjoys traveling to romantic locales, quilting, and researching her next exotic adventure. She has strong opinions on barbecue and ACC basketball. Connect with Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Check out her books at www.lisacarterauthor.com.