Get Ready to Write!

It's not too early to start thinking about Nanowrimo! (

November will be here before you know it and an important aspect of preparing for flow-state writing is research. Research can be real world---by which you find places and people and plots that might connect to the story you envision, and you make lists, gather pictures, diagram, map, and just accumulate interesting images, notions, and curiosities. 

Or you can do imaginary research, which is writing (NOT just thinking) about various story aspects that are wholly imaginary. 

For your research process, you need not have any particular story or plot in mind, but merely begin to chew over some toothsome ideas. I advise that you actually resist plotting at all, and instead, just start sketching out images and ideas, and as you begin to germinate ideas, start keeping a notebook.

It's best to have a hard copy notebook to augment any files of images or computer notes. As usual, I'll remind readers that your brain doesn't process computer activities with the same depth and emotional gravity you get when you work in the Meatspace. Er, I mean, reality and/or analog functions and symbols. There's a significant difference in what you remember and how your brain accesses information that is fortified by handwriting, touching pages, reading from books. Working in the Meatspace, you gain a boatload of potential over what you do in Dataspace. 

So as you look forward to writing in November (remember: the writing you do doesn't have to be in the form of a novel, only a whole bucha words in any story form...), write down character descriptions, put pictures of exotic locales on your walls, start toying with what sorts of events---grisly murders, sci-fi fantastica, goofball sidekicks, romantic interludes, fine dining after the revenge---you want to include. 

This research period is crucial to promote Flow in the fall. However, let me reiterate, don't worry about the plot of anything. You are inducing a certain kind of creative confusion, so your notes need not be organized. At all.  Get a menu of characters and places; knock and inquire at the door of your imagination what sort of genre you want to write, what sort of desires you want your protagonist to follow, what dreams you have with luscious problems or tormenting situations.

And write down notes. If all you do is fantasize without writing, you build abiding energy. Writing is what stokes the fires. Ultimately, it won't matter what notes you write; you won't even need to re-read them, but the act of preparing in this sort of bee-to-the-flowers uncharted way is very stimulative, and over time, creates a honeycomb of possibilities in your imagination.

Oh, and speaking of which, this contest also crossed my path as I was writing this post. It's a chance to be a lucky winner and get some very nice paraphernalia:

I've had a lot of fun getting bargains on Massdrop---notebooks, inks, pens, blahdeblah. Their prices are always better than retail. If there's a place to mention me as recommender, I think they'll send me a goodie (probably another notebook) if I urge enough referrals, but more important, if you win, you'll get a very nice starter kit that'll energize your prep process. If you don't win, you'll have taken an easy first step: make it easy. Do the things you can do.

As the way to get into Massdrop, use this link,

then sign up for email (which you can cancel anytime), then search "give away writing starter"... so I get the cred.