11/20/08 — I have now finished doing most of the initial brainstorming for ATTACK OF THE MUTANT UNDERWEAR: TAKE TWO. Instead of trying to dream up everything that is going to happen, I rely on the hundreds of notes I’ve jotted down over the years and tossed into my desk drawer. That’s it below, sitting on the dining room table, filled to the brim with possibilities.
I go through the drawer one note at a time, asking myself if this or that idea might fit into the new book somehow, and begin to do a rough sort into piles — central plot, subplots, character development, etc.
After the initial sorting is done, I move the piles upstairs to my office and spread them out on my desk.
Then comes the most fun part of prewriting — putting the possibilities together. I start big, with major turning points, the beginning, even the ending, playing with ideas, letting my imagination run. It’s all done with the knowledge that my first impulses are often not the best. I throw out lots, then see what I can come up with that’s better. Two steps forward, one step back — that’s the feel of it. But soon scenes start to emerge, and I jot them down on 3×5 cards to create a step outline. Only time, and much ruminating, will tell if I’m on the right track.