Rich Prewriting Enhances Novel
I’m currently researching material for my novel.
Setting. I’ve sort of settled on a setting; often for me, the setting comes first. I’m looking at sequences of events, variations on those sequences, variations in how the setting might look at different times, some of the odd-ball jobs in this setting, etc. I’m looking for something that might ground the scene in the particulars of daily life. For example, is there a coffee shop nearby, or maybe a playground. (Or, is it plausible for me to invent one of those.)
Characters. While I’m thinking about setting, I have to ask myself what a native of this setting would be like: cheerful, discouraged, rambunctious, angry, etc. I might go so far as to go and sit near a similar setting and just listen to the conversations.
Plot. I’m wondering what could take place in this setting. In some cases, that means I need to investigate the logistics of something to make sure it can work.
Doing all that research is Prewriting. When I teach writing to kids, I insist on multiple prewriting activities. They sometimes do up to eight quick activities before they write. A rich prewriting environment means stronger first drafts. I’m figuring that if kids need eight prewriting activities, I need to do even more.