I've gotten my Big Idea for my Big Fantasy. It's such a basic idea that I'm sure it's been done before, but I've decided that doesn't matter. My version is likely to be vastly different.

I can either make this an alternative history, or use the real history as an analog to my fantasy, changing names and events, but using it as a template.

I've come up with an opening scene, but I just jotted down rough notes, purposely not writing it more fully. I'm going to try hard just to think about this whole story instead of sitting down and writing it. There is no hurry. I want as much of this thought out in advance I can.

I may even write other books in the meantime. At the very least, re-write some books. If I don't start this book for a year or two, that will be fine.

I've got a number of books set aside for research for this project. There are many more I could get. It's a big enough idea that I think I can play with it in my head for awhile.

The problem in the past has been--I think of a scene and feel like I need to write it before it's gone. Especially if the words start flowing. So the trick is to write down the essence of the scene, but not let the words flow.

It's a bit like the trick I learned early on: instead of sleepless nights, when I'd get an idea while going to sleep, I'd just say to myself, "Tell me tomorrow." And sure enough, usually that worked. I just needed the kernel and I could extrapolate from there.

I'm going to let this be wide ranging in characters, time, and distance. Either with a lot of flashbacks, or make it multi-generational.

Or--I may try to have one main character enter the story fairly early on, and follow him or her.

The whole point of planning this out in advance is to figure these things out.