Thor's Thoughts: Pre-Writing Methods

Greetings, fellow writers! I hope your end of week is going well.

I have little time in which to write this. I, myself, have been rather occupied taking care of my alter-ego. She is now with child, and has also suffered from a terrible illness as of late. Her children are running amok in Asgard. I requested Loki to keep an eye on them while I write, but... I am unsure whether he will hinder or help their destructive natures.

Forgive me, back to the topic of writing.

Today I would like to speak to you about Pre-Writing. This encompasses a great many things, including the decisions my fellow YAvengers have and will speak on this month. Point of view, tense, mood, tone, style, genre, etcetera, are all decisions that can, and often should, be made prior to writing the first draft. But there are other things to be done then as well. Here are a few you may want to try:

1. Outlining

An outline can be of benefit to any type of writer. Whether you choose to go in depth and write a page for each chapter, or only a line or two, knowing what comes next and where you are going is often beneficial. Since we've discussed this before, and likely will again, that is all I shall say here.

2. Idea Test

This is a chapter or two you write in order to discover the narrative voice of the story, or just to get a look at the world you've imagined. Writing it out can give you a better idea of how much you'll enjoy writing a full seventy thousand or more words. How much you'll enjoy spending time with the characters. How easy or challenging it might be for you. All this is good to know before truly diving in.

3. World Building

A small amount of world building is necessary for any story, and more for others. Where does it take place? What does the world look like? Are there plants or animals a human would find unfamiliar? Who are the characters? What are their challenges? (My post from last month is a good overview of this.) If it takes place in another world, how is it different from Earth? Is there magic? How does it work? Is the government important to the plot? Why? Who are the key players? All of these questions can be helpful to answer before you begin, so you're not left to decide them in the middle of drafting -- which can take up your time.

4. Research

If you are writing science fiction or historical fiction in particular, research is something that must be done before you draft. Knowing the key events, dates, and significant people of the time, or the science involved in your world is extremely important. Be sure to keep from getting bogged down, of course, but a good few days worth of research will never hurt your story. You will likely find things while drafting that you need to research more in-depth, but I encourage you to make a note of it and move on -- again, so it will not slow your progress.

(Make sure you know what you're doing.)

5. Tone Text

As a disclaimer, I know some authors are vehemently against this because it can be distracting. A Tone Text is a novel you read in between writing your text. When you're tired of looking at a screen or sitting a certain way, you can take a break to read a book. If, for example, you are writing a regency-style novel, reading Jane Austen to keep your head in the tone of your story could be helpful. It is best if your tone text is a book you've already read and are not on the edge of your seat about. Get too drawn in, and you may not want to go back to writing.

As NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, I hope these methods of pre-writing and preparation will be of help to you. And now, if you'll excuse me, I believe Loki has recruited my alter-ego's children for some evil scheme, and I must stop them.

Good luck.


1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to your alter ego! :-D And just a hint--I think Loki would be THE ABSOLUTE WORST option for a babysitter. At the same time, I doubt Freya would appreciate being asked. Maybe the humans might help...?
    I never seem to know what I'm doing. At least not during the first draft. I wonder... why is that?