So you have an idea…where do you go from there?
If I’m lucky, I get it down in Evernote or my notes app or a notebook. Basically, I try to note it down somewhere.
And then? I’ve tried in the past, but I’ve never been good at outlines. Actually, in college, I used to write my first draft, then write the outline based on what I got down in that draft, and then re-write the whole thing. Efficient? Probably not. But it worked for me, for the most part. Except for that one time when I vastly underestimated how long it would take me to go through my source material.
So if I decide to actually go through with the idea, I find some time to sit down and start banging out a draft. Once I’ve got a handful of pages or a few scenes down, I like to work through a character development worksheet I got from a writing class a few years back. I’m not allowed to share it here (sorry!), but it’s 9 simple questions that help me nail down the basic facts about the character (name, age, where he or she is from, etc.), the role he/she plays in the story, and his/her core motivations in the story. This also forces me to think about what the heck the story is and what I’m trying to tell.
Then…well, we’re kinda going into “ideal world” (or “the future”) now, because I haven’t gotten to this point in awhile, but…once I get a draft down, and maybe a rewrite, I’d love to find a group to critique or workshop the piece. I’d take the group’s feedback into account and rewrite it again. Workshop it again. Rewrite it again. Repeat until I’m ready to pull my hair out over this stupid story.
At this point, we’re really in the great unknown, because then, I’d be at the point where it’s time to put this little thing out into the world, whether it’s sending it out to anthologies and literary magazines or trying to find an agent or formatting it and publishing it as an e-book and I really have no idea what I’ll do if and when I reach that. So…stay tuned?