I have this stage where I’m mostly focusing on pre-writing and just doing whatever I really want. This is the stage where a lot of my works are there right now. Mostly because I have my hands full and thus I have them in the planning stages.
What I do during this stage is mostly to plan out the rough outline and idea. The most important thing for me is that there must be a direction and the next would be the ending. Before I think of the beginning and work from there. If I can’t find it, for me it might be just enough for a short story especially if the scenes if only one or two.
And the first step I do is to write a premise. To look for anything that doesn’t make any sense, how viable it was and whether is there anything I need to add. The main characters would also be created, with their main conflicts outlined as it strikes me in the original idea. It might usually be just one or two main characters, usually the latter. And of course their back stories if it is good enough.
A premise for me is complete once I have the direction, the beginning, the inciting incident and of course the main characters and their goals. If the last thing isn’t there, it would also be shelved.
The pre-writing stage for me also includes any research I do as an add on. For me this round is just a light round of research to ensure that it is enough and to fix any errors that I might see. Or if I feel conflicted about the direction of the story and the main characters. The research is to help with the feeling of my direction, as it often does because I’m a historical fiction writer.
Historical fact and research can give me a lot of ideas, and a clear idea on where to bring the story to. Even if I’m not sure on where it might end.
It may be a time where I think about the magic system and bring something logical to it. Or to see where it might go from there on, and what the magic means to the characters.
So that to me, is what I do during the pre-writing stage. It is mostly for me to figure out what is the story I’m telling, who does it concerns, why does it matter to them. And last but not least, finding music which gets me into the mood or has me visualising the work.