I usually begin with one idea or thought or mood, and pantser the entire novel a chapter at a time. If I get stuck I take a day off. I try for 1,000 words a day 5 days a week. The weekends help to solidify what's next and yeah, I do often see a trailer of the next scene playing over and over ad nauseum in my head. The EL Doctorow method.
Thread derail warning:
I finally got around to reading City of God, which has been on my list for some time. I'm about half-way through, and it's well on the way to being the best book I've read this year. I've always liked Doctorow's short fiction, but I haven't read many of his novels.
Me, I'm strange ... i sit down turn of the computer open WP and sit back and wait...then I start with a capital letter and away I go with words punctuation sentences paragraphs pages and nighttime dreams and nightmares for weeks as the story takes me over - then one day I type The End.
Sometimes if I plan a story i will write the end first and work back from that. Takes me a few years to polish, copy edit, and correct...then publish.
People seem to like my work, they buy small amounts - but after reading In The Wicker Wood....everyone says - never saw that end coming - brilliant.
The end goes right back to the first paragraph, and assaults the readers' understanding of what they thought was going to happen. A Mc Guffin.
This was an ending I wrote first...as I was planning a sequel, which is now in the pipeline.
Edited by: Lazarian Wordsmith on Oct 27, 2017 2:36 AM
I usually brainstorm (which is every day and moment) and usually something will come up based on what I wrote in the past and somehow, someway it's able to tie into an old event from a previous chapter. I don't try to look at media too much for ideas, usually my ideas come from stuff I encounter in real life or things I like or know. It also helps if you think of an idea and plan it out ahead of time so you can keep writing without too many delays or pauses. Always plan ahead with any ideas you think of.
Now that's interesting and I've been wanting to bring that up. I watch TV series from Netflix. I get ideas for all kinds of things from those shows. They have an impact on my stories. So does the news. I just keep on writing, through one outrageous news story after the other. If I stopped because of a bad news day, I'd never write.
I also read the news. My eclipse story developed after I read a very emotional article and it wouldn't have been nearly as impacting or as good if I stayed in my own bubble. Oh, I get some pretty neat ideas from within, but certainly there is something to be said for letting a bit of outside angst to color your work.
Yes, newspapers are a great source of inspiration, especially the local press. I once read a short article about an Italian girl who came home one day and told her mother she had failed her exams. Her mother sent the girl to bed. She stayed in bed for one year. It was only when the neighbours got suspicious and confronted the mother that the poor girl was set free. I turned this into a short story, which was my first success and was read on the BBC. I recently read another article about a US Iraq veteran who found a bizarre but touching way of coming to terms with his own experiences of loss. He collected US military medals and then set about returning them to their original owners or to the original owners' families. I haven't written a story about this yet but the possibilities are almost endless!