Plotting out a new story is like playing in a really big, empty sandbox. I keep picking up new toys to put in the sand. I play with some of them …. and, nope, out you go. Hey–look at that. Oooooh, shiny!  Eventually, I settle on some favorites, give them names, and start dreaming up trouble for the toys to get into.

I’ve got a town, a name, a trio of siblings–each, of course, who will get their own story, and the fuzziest idea of a plot that needs a lot of fleshing out. But since I’m a character-driver writer, that means I need to get to know these new people. What do they like? What do they do after work? What’s their pet peeve? Who is their best friend? Yeah, all that stuff.

Our siblings have landed into a new situation that’s going to change their lives. (Of course.) How will they react and who will they meet along the way? There’s the story, right there.

World-building is my favorite part of writing. Once I know the setting and the characters, the story flows.

Time to get to work. I’ve got a trilogy to write.


About The Author

Annika began writing in third grade: an illustrated fanfic of the Atari game “Defender.” After filling notebooks, utterly unaware that she was a writer at heart, she abandoned her stories somewhere around her third year of college, probably when the typewriter/word processor died and was replaced by the roommate’s new 386. A ridiculous number of years later, she stumbled across a fanfic site, put fingers to keyboard, and hasn’t stopped writing since.