One of my favorite parts of writing is sitting down with my notebook (yup, I write by hand and then type) and my purple pen and start putting the story to the page. Unfortunately, that part is about half way into the whole process of “writing a story” for me. As much as I’d like to just put words out there when an idea hits, I have to start at the beginning.
Which is always the hardest part of course! I have to flesh out who the characters are first. Plus I have to have some basic plot ideas, whether it’s a full outline or just a basic overview. Then comes any research that is needed. How much research there is varies by book. Sometimes it’s hard to focus on all of the pre-writing things that need done when I have scenes and ideas just waiting to get out.
The very hardest part of all however, for me, is naming characters. So much meaning comes from a name. Plus I don’t want all of my books to have characters named “Jon” or “Joe” or “Bob”. There are some wonderful names out there and I want to find them and use them! I’ve recently started writing down names that I see while I’m out that strike me so I can use them later. Advertisements, companies, even the cashier at Target. Now to pick which ones go with which characters!