|This cake’s done, but my story isn’t ready to come out of the oven yet.|
Maybe I should call it baking a story. In any case there’s a lot of head work before a story is “done” enough in my brain, by which means it has arrived at the point where I can begin writing.
|It’s why a lot of writing looks like this —|
|— though most of it still looks like this.|
How to start thinking deeply in genre:
In fantasy you must establish the rules of the world of the story. If there’s magic, how does it work and more importantly what are the limits? Because there’s the rub as Shakespeare would say. And it’s the rub, the obstacles that the characters must overcome that give your story its teeth. In science fiction the rules and limits align with what we know of the natural world, sociology, physics.
Just remember the reader doesn’t really care about the rules, not the way you do Don’t waste pages laying them all out, turning your story into an instruction manual. The rules matter to your characters. Decide them then internalize them so that the world of the story can become compelling to your reader through your characters’ thoughts and actions as they moves through their world.