What exactly is “pseudo-writing,” you ask?
Well, you could call it research.
More accurately, you could call it avoidance.
My pseudo-writing is usually writing-related, so I give myself a pass, but the truth of the matter is that it’s not really writing.
I fill out surveys about my characters. I look online for pictures of the people and places in the story. I draw maps of the location. I get really obsessed about small details and spend hours looking up stuff related to it. Sometimes I decide to design a bunch of stuff for my blog.
For example …
I knew that my character Jess was essentially Drew Roy. That part was easy.
But I literally searched the internet for hours to find a picture of Elly that matched the image in my mind. I got sort of close a couple times, but finally I found this random photo. And … it. was. Elly. A 100% match.
There’s a greenhouse in the new story, so of course I had to find some photos of that too.
When I realized that one of the characters walked with a limp, I went off on a tangent, looking for photos of awesome canes meant for teenagers (there aren’t a lot out there). I spent, oh, an hour or two researching canes. (And wouldn’t mind some more photos, if you find any cool canes meant for a 13-15 year old boy.)
I still need to sketch out a map of the boarding school and nearby town where the story takes place.
Still trying to decide if pseudo-writing is productive or not … anyone care to weigh in?