Thursday, May 3, 2012

Brainstorming

So as you know, I've been brainstorming for my new MG dystopian novel, doing a lot of "preliminary" work. Though I've always been more of a pantser than an outliner, I have to admit that the more stories I write, the more of a planner I've become. Hmmm...I wonder if I'll be a flat-out outliner before long (though I tried that once and it totally killed my inspiration to write that particular book; it was no fun when I knew absolutely EVERYTHING before I started to write it).

So before I dig into the actual manuscript again (or continue from where I left off, to be more accurate), I'm working on the following "prework": character sketches, world-building, major plot points, and pitch.

Character Sketches: I've already made sketches for two major players: the protagonist and his best friend. Y'know, the whole works: their story goals, fears, strengths, weaknesses, worst day of their lives, etc. There's at least one other character I know I'll be making a sketch for as well. I'm also working on how the main character changes throughout the course of the book. I've been playing with an internal conflict based around curiosity, but maybe it's stupid. We'll see...

World-building: This is a dystopian after all, so this futuristic "oppressed world" needs to be built quite fully and with as much detail as possible. It influences the story in a huge way, obviously.

Major plot points: I find it's good to know the major moments and twists of the story in advance, that way I can be sure the stakes are gradually being raised, or that at the very least the story has a general path I can shoot for as I write. It also helps to have at least a general idea of the ending, which I do at the moment. Fleshing it out is what's going to be the hard part, though maybe I'll do that as I do the actual writing.

Pitch: This basically extends from the other aspects I just mentioned. I like to write the best possible pitch (in other words, what you'd read on the back cover of a book) I can before I write the book. That way, I can read it and see if it not only feels like a story, but one I'm just itching to read myself. Okay, I'm itching...

Back to more brainstorming...

2 comments:

Kristina said...

I need to take a cue from you and get into doing pre-work a bit more...you've got a pretty good breakdown here.

Have a blast at Backspace!! Can't wait to hear about the good things coming your way.

Chris V said...

Thanks, Kristina! Yes, I'm enjoying prework more and more. Might do another whole week of it before I commence the actual writing of the manuscript.

Backspace should be fun! I'll be sure to let you know how it goes and what I learn.