Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prep Work

It wasn’t until I started doing NaNoWriMo that I really got into prep work. By hearing how everyone else does their prep work and seeing all the different ways there were to do it I realized that I didn’t have to do it the way my elementary teachers had told me to. Then once I started experimenting with it I got really into it. Now I’ve developed tons of different prep tools that I can use.

Writer’s Journal: Sometimes I write down quotes, definitions, or names in it. Other times it’s research notes, but mainly I write down descriptions of things that inspire components of the story.

Word Wall: In all honesty, it’s more of a main idea or plot point wall than a word wall. I just called it that because it’s a rip off of a word wall that I saw in an elementary classroom.

Idea Book: Basically, this is a quick scrapbook of the story. They usually include a mock up of the book’s cover, a general inspiration section, a page or two for each character, and a miniature word wall showing the major plot points I want to cover.

Models: A lot of times I’ll end up finding at least one model for each story. Sometimes it’ll be objects that symbolize each phase of the story, but other times I’ll make clay models of characters so that I can reference then when I’m having problems.

Wordles: This is an organizational tool that I usually make once I’m a few chapters into the book and sometimes not until I’m completely done with it and ready to start the sequel. However, sometimes if I’m having a hard time getting started or am really excited about the story I’ll jot down the key terms, character names, and important objects just so I can keep track of what I want included and what all the names are.

Bubble Diagrams: Yeah, I’m really not that into this one, but I still use it on occasion so I thought I’d include it. Sometimes when I have something that I want to happen in the story but that I’m having a hard time working in I’ll make it into a bubble diagram, with that event at the center, and use that to help me figure out how to weave it into the story.


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