Currently read­ing A Writer’s Coach: The Complete Guide to Writing Strategies That Work by Jack Hart. It’s more fo­cused on jour­nal­ism and fea­ture writ­ing … but why should­n’t one learn from our brethren who are paid to put out writ­ing at reg­u­lar dead­lines? And have sys­tems for it, no less.

Hart quotes Bill Blundell, a for­mer writ­ing coach from the Wall Street Journal on four strate­gies for de­vel­op­ing ideas on a pro­ject:

  • Extrapolation: will this phe­nom­e­non pro­duce other ef­fects? eg. A spike in gas prices might boost sale of bikes.
  • Synthesis: can you unify seem­ingly un­re­lated trends into a new pat­tern?
  • Localization: how does a de­vel­op­ment from a greater con­text have lo­cal con­se­quences? eg. Global trend to lo­cal re­sponse.
  • Projection: how does a cen­tral de­vel­op­ment play out in con­se­quences? This can have two types, di­rect im­pacts, and counter-moves.

But this piqued my in­ter­est be­cause it seems to me this could work in terms of work­ing through a cen­tral idea in spec­u­la­tive fic­tion, or a quick way to sketch out world­build­ing con­se­quences.