This week: Good Prep Work Is The KeyEdited by: amy-Looking Forward
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Hi! This is amy-Looking Forward . I hope you get a great deal out of this newsletter. I am hoping that the description I have provided of what I do to prepare to write a piece will help any writer out there who struggles to get going or helps clarify the process for writers who have their own routine. Please take a few minutes to enjoy the pieces I have included to showcase just some of the fantastic talent that graces our site.
Before I start writing any piece I do thorough preparation. There are three things I use which I think can be a great asset for any writer.
Before I do anything I begin doing a mind map. This is simple and focuses you completely on your topic. I use a digital document. I sit and type in words, phrases and ideas about the overall topic of my piece. I use different font colors to keep me focused. When this is done, I am completely involved in the piece I am writing. I find this first step essential to my writing. You can use a piece of paper if you wish. The point is to do what is right for you.
Of course I go through detailed research. There will be subjects that involve research. For example, I am planning a murder mystery set in the early 20th century, so I am in the process of researching how household help was set up and organized in affluent households. Research can bring more life and color to your scenarios and make them more believable to your reader.
I then start my character sketches. I sit and list all the qualities of my characters. I start off with their name. I create their appearance including their height, weight, eye color, hair color and skin tone. I get focused on their occupation. I know exactly what they do for a living. I list their families and family dynamic. This is something will influence how they act and react in the world. I choose their religious affiliation and political proclivities. That forms the way they think and what is important to them. Then I start on their personality. When this process is finished the characters are real to me. I know them and I can help my reader know them.
For longer pieces-novels for example-I create my imaginary world. The political environment, the businesses involved and the social structure. I also use an outline for pieces like novels. I don't feel the need to use these two things for short stories.
This is how I organize myself for fiction pieces. I believe it would be helpful for any writer.
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