My Pre-Writing Process

A few people on Twitter asked me what my pre-writing process was for my books since I mentioned that I'm in that stage right now. This is the summary of my constantly evolving process:


  1. This synopsis gives an overview of the story but not a lot of details or spoilers. It's similar to the back cover blurb. Often, this synopsis is what the marketing department uses to write the initial back cover copy.

  2. I have my own personal worksheet I've made based on the Michael Hauge workshops I attended. So it's basically a list of Longing/Need, Wound, Belief, Fear, Identity, Essence. The worksheet only makes sense if you're familiar with his stuff. So here is his website and a post by Jami Gold about the inner journey. Note: Hauge's book, from what I understand, does not cover his Inner Journey stuff, so you may have to order one of his workshops/talks to get it. Or you can get an overview at Jami's sight.
  3. The number 6 is arbitrary. If you can't find six, at least have three. These are the things you show in the setup. What are the problems in this character's life. What are they missing?
  4. I kind of adore anything James Scott Bell has to say about writing. Besides this book, I also recommend his Plot and Structure book. 
  5. I've developed a stack of worksheets based on the principles in My Story Can Beat Up Your Story. This book is chock full of good information.
  6. I can't express the importance of setting word count goals. It's changed my writing speed dramatically. In Scrivener, you can put in your deadline, what your work days are, and it will break it down how much you need to write each day. It will even give you a progress bar. Odd how powerful a motivator that little bar can be.
  7. Me, convincing myself it will be better next time. (below)