Thursday, July 29, 2010


My first draft is almost done. I completed a couple more scenes, but found myself a little drained. To take a break, I started preparing for my next "layer" in the story writing depth research.

Research. It can (is) daunting, especially when there are so many details to research and outline in science fiction.

This is where my project management hat comes in handy. I first break every subject and subtopic into categories, partial example (it's currently scribbled in, bubbled out, and smudged across white paper):

Economic Status, diversity ratio, social hierarchy & roles, institutions, educational structure, etc.

Heritage, traditions, art & philosophical themes, dress, speech, protocols, etc.

Household, transportation (on planet/off planet, short distance/long distance), fuel sources (see transportation for subgroups), weapons, healthcare, etc.

My first step is to choose a main category and flit around my resources sites and books getting a broad scope of the subject. As I do this I highlight/tag those subtopics as they appear, sometimes jotting notes.

Once I've gotten at least a half dozen starter sources for my subtopics I'll delve into each topic in turn, fleshing out the concepts on a separate sheet. (Fleshing out includes jotting notes, exploring themes, and sketching out drawings based on ideas.)

The result will be an almost booklet thick folder that contains everything I need to reference when I go through my revisions/editing phases.

Sometimes I do this in depth research before I start the story, but usually the story is hitting me right in the face and I don't have time. It is one reason why I am a layering writer, because my primary objective when a story comes is to just get the basic idea/plot down so I don't loose bits and pieces.

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