I'm not like that. At all.
I actually like to know exactly what I want to happen from the first to the last scene before I start writing.
So once I have a vague idea of something (usually a character or two and a situation), my writing/plotting rituals are:
1. Angsty Teen TV Shows
I specifically love the ones from the 80s and 90s that are up on the Netflix. I'll watch a string of episodes all back to back.
4. Brainstorming Sessions
I have a couple really talented and creative friends who thankfully don't mind helping me sort out plot details. We'll sometimes meet for coffee, and I'll tell them what I've got and we'll throw ideas back and forth. Other times, we'll brainstorm via text message or even email.
io9 is the one website I follow religiously. I love their links, the articles, the sense of humor--all of it. And every time I've plotted myself into a corner, I'll click their links and something, even if it's just a word or a phrase, will sent me off on inspired research.
After I had one lined journal, almost full with character descriptions, worldbuilding notes, scene ideas, and snippets of dialogue, I typed up a synopsis and went to work turning those ideas into an actual manuscript.
First published on 8/21/2011, this post in its original form can be seen at Brave New Words.