I don’t know about anyone else but I’m a real mixed bag when it comes to preparation and writing. Prior to writing A Balance of Secrets, I never planned my stories in anyway. Then I got the idea for Secrets and I actually fleshed out the three main characters to a certain extent and jotted down points for the beginning of the story. Once that was done I happily wrote part of the manuscript. Then I got to a point where I couldn’t keep track of who had met who so I came up with my spider web which was also great for giving me a visual of my characters and the places they have been or are going to.
Then came the editing process. Suddenly I had plot holes and needed a way to keep track of them. Enter the whiteboard. I say whiteboard, but in reality it’s a large picture frame that I’ve turned into one. This suits me really well because it’s not too big for my creative space and I got to make it more colourful than white. I adore colour.
I have NEVER prepared like that before and I have to say it has made it easier. What I liked about it the most though was that it was all organic. I didn’t plan every last detail of my story, but nor did I totally pants it. I guess, at least for me, the answer is that a little bit of preparation is key, but not too much. And that’s the best thing about being creative, you can change your approach and still get results. Prepare or not, no one but you gets to decide how you create and that’s freaking awesome.