When authors sit down to do their pre-work on a new project, they find themselves doing a lot of jumping and, if they're anything like me, talking, pacing, and scribbling, just to work out the details of this whole new thingy.
I've noticed that a lot of people that don't write, think we have these grand ideas that start off our novels, that the seeds are diamonds encrusted with gold and dipped in melted silver. They, however, are wrong. Ideas start as something supremely shallow and odd, ninety-nine times out of a hundred, something to the tune of: I want a story with an awesome guild of knights who are awesome.
Of course, no one else needs to know that's where we start.
Next comes the writing two-step: research and planning. Before we write word one, we find ourselves lost, not knowing squat about military strategy. So we read Sun Tzu's "Art of War", the equivalent of Cliffnotes on the subject (really, it's not even fifty pages, I don't think).
Then we realize, "Oh dear, why is my emperor trying to do all of this in the first place? It can't be jsut bcause he wants to rule the world--that's just boring." And we psychologically profile him, finding that he believes whatever he believes that makes him do this.
Next we make maps.
We work out the wealth of each and every country.
We find out the military force available to any one group.
We psychoanalyze their leaders.
We look at the natural resources and major exports of every nations.
You get the picture. Why post this? To inspire others to break the rules along with me: NaNoWriMo is fast approaching, and I think, at least for people that have done it before, it's toime to go balls deep into the next project. So, I invite you to join me and begin planning your next work now...besides, it's only a little (a lot) more than the one week planning deadline given in the official rules, right?