characters, charts, plot

Prep Work

I wonder how many people like doing prep work. You know, taping around doors and windows before you paint your bedroom. Steaming and scraping old wallpaper before you paint or lay down new paper. Or how about hoeing or tilling the ground before planting seeds for a garden.

I don’t always like the prep work for anything involving manual labor. I think it has to do with my intense dislike for sweating. But let me do the prep work for a new story and I’m all over that!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my new story and while I still haven’t found my Plot & Structure book, I’ve been reading up plotting and character development on some great writing blogs (Hi Seekerville Ladies!) I’ve also been looking through my synopsis class notes (Hi Camy Tang!) which will be a tremendous help in getting a synopsis completed BEFORE I write! Yes, I am plotting deep and strong this time around. Today I am printing out my charts and hope to get them filled out this week in preparation for my summer writing spree.

These next three weeks will be spent developing my characters, working on their GMCs, and developing a plot. Today I am printing out my character and GMC charts and will begin getting some of these ideas out of my head and onto paper. Yes, I like to do it by hand, the old fashioned way, when I do my prep work. There is something organic, freeing, and creative in feeling the pen glide across the page.

I love the creative aspect of writing. I love ideas coming together to make a story. I’m getting excited!

How many of you like the prep work? Or do you find it a necessary evil? What is YOUR process?

17 thoughts on “Prep Work”

  1. Prep work for manual labor is a necessary evil. It's made more palatable when Himself does the prep work. Prepping for a creative endeavor is exciting. Sometimes what's in my head doesn't come out exactly on paper.

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  2. I actually don't mind prep work. But I am on the fence about how much writing prep work helps me. I don't currently do a lot of it because I get bored and then don't want to write to story I have spent so long plotting out. I'd love to hear how others over come this problem… if they have this problem 🙂

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  3. Non-fiction devotional writing doesn't require as much prep work as fiction, although I sometimes need to ask my husband about a certain event. Not only is his perception different from mine, but I tend to embellish, um, exagerrate.

    Maybe I'm a fiction writer at heart!

    Love the poochie photo!

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  4. Sherrinda, great and true post!
    I LOVE the prep work and sometimes get caught up in research all these cool little things that will have nothing to do with my book!!!

    Patti

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  5. Prep work is fun in the beginning. Then, I get impatient, and just want to get started. A lot of my original plot ends up not being used because the story takes on a life of its own, but I like to have it as a reference.

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  6. I don't mind a bit of prep work, but not a lot. I did a rough sketch of my current novel, but I don't want to pace it completely out. I am still a panster after all. 🙂

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  7. I'm in the same boat right now. I'm taking the time to really think through different scenerio's before the characters boss me around and tell me the story. 😉

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  8. Yay! I'm so glad to hear that you've started planning your next story! I do my initial planning by hand too, in a spiral notebook and on character worksheets. It is a very fun time of letting our imaginations just run wild, isn't it?

    Hope you had a great Mother's Day! 🙂

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  9. How exciting that you're getting ready to begin your next story. I'm glad you're having fun with the prep. You'll be able to forge ahead once your summer break begins.

    I do a good deal of prep work before beginning a story. In order for it to flow, I have to know my characters and the basic outline of the plot. I'm a chronological writer, but I admire those who can write puzzle-piece style.

    What aspect of the prep work is your favorite? Are there any you find more challenging than others?

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  10. Hi Sherrinda –

    You're making progress. I've tried so many systems, but they haven't worked for me.

    Most of my prep work happens in my head rather than on paper. When I'm ready, I start writing.

    Blessings,
    Susan 🙂

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  11. CJ, I love it when you call your husband Himself! LOVE IT! What a great idea!

    Tabitha, I can see how spending too much time plotting would make you not want to keep writing. Maybe there is a balance somewhere to be found.

    Jeanette, I think you should give the fiction writing a go! You never know what God has in that creative mind of yours. 🙂

    Patti! I have the same problem…at least when writing historical! I am doing contemporary this time, so we shall see what happens when I research. 😉

    Julie, not having really worked out a detail plot before, I am wondering how well I will really stick to it. I guess I will see.

    Casey, you pantster, you! I love your free spirit!

    Janna, I am hoping to avoid some of the problems that occurred with my first story!!! If it makes revision easier, then I'm all for it!

    T.Anne, good luck mulling over your characters!

    Jody, I had a great Mother's Day! I'm sure you did too! I love that you hand write your prep work. Makes me feel like I'm doing something right! lol

    Keli, I like thinking up backgrounds for my characters. What made them who they are, what their fears are…their hang ups, etc. I like trying to figure out how to challenge the character and how to make the hero come into conflict with the heroine. I've seen people do collages in the prep work and I'm considering doing something like that. I'm really looking forward to fleshing this story out!!!!

    Natalie, what a free spirit you are! Does it work out for you in the end? Is revision hard for you?

    Susan, I just hope this works! It's only my second story to write, so I'm trying something different. Who knows what will work for me!!!! 😉

    Jill, thanks for the encouragement! I have felt like I have been pulled away from writing…or maybe avoiding it, but I am reading to dive in again.

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  12. I hate prep work for painting and gardening. I don't do a lot of prep work when I write. All of my stories have been inspired and I just write, I don't outline or anything like that. I had to do a little research for my two MGs because they took place during an earlier time period, but not a lot.

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