Idea Generation: Prewriting Tips


Even if you’re a student writing your thesis or a screenwriter planning for an upcoming movie or a writer, working on your next book, prewriting benefits all categories of writers. Prewriting is a process that trains you to write. If you integrate this step into the writing process, it helps you to develop and think through the idea. Writing a book is never difficult if you plan and preprocess all the ideas.

Writing is a way of thinking. Not only feeling but also thinking about various things that are mysterious, desperate, unresolved, or simply romantic.

Prewriting takes some additional time, but it will help you articulate your points and write coherently.

What is the purpose of Prewriting?

Prewriting is a process that takes form before you start your first draft. You can apply prewriting to any writing style, from writing an essay to writing a short story.

It brainstorms the purpose of your writing. You can formulate ideas, understand what you already knew, and think about what you need in the next step to explore and make your point efficiently. 

Prewriting helps you for a flawless and continuous flow of writing. It pushes you to rethink your concepts and plan a structure for your writing.

With good practice, prewriting can make you write more cohesively and faster.

Outlining and Prewriting

Prewriting and Outlining sound like they are similar techniques. Outlining is one kind of prewriting. Whereas, outlining is most useful when you’re clear of your story and have a plan on how to approach your arguments.

Outlining has a thesis and a structure of the idea in an order that the story will follow. Below each topic, you might additionally include more details about the flow.

This is one of the reasons, most writers prepare an outline after brainstorming their ideas. They use many techniques of prewriting. Some techniques you can give a try before outlining are “clustering” and “listing”.

5 prewriting techniques

Before finalizing on what to write and how to start, just answer yourself these simple questions:

  • What is the purpose of this?
  • What am I claiming or what is in my theses?
  • What facts help my idea?
  • Do I need additional shreds of evidence for support?
  • How will I organize all the points?

If you are clear about your ideas before the prewriting process, you can be much more productive. If your answer is broad, then you can start with the chosen prewriting technique.


Clustering is an efficient prewriting approach that allows you to visually link distinct thoughts. This approach is also known as concept mapping. Because of the web-like visual impact that clustering produces on the page.

How does it work?

  • In the center of the page, write your main idea: Some authors will circle or highlight the concept. This could be your thesis statement or topic.
  • Secondary ideas: During the brainstorming process, other ideas linked to your core concept may emerge. Write those around your core subject or concept, linking the additional ideas to it.
  • Repeat for every additional idea until all of the ideas get clustered in the thought map.


The freewriting prewriting approach is a timed practice in which you compose your thoughts in whole sentences. The idea is to keep writing on the issue without pausing throughout the allotted time. This means no correcting for grammar or spelling issues, and no pausing if you are hesitant about your thoughts.

When the timer goes off, go through everything you wrote and highlight the most appealing ideas. Repeat the procedure, this time focusing on the outstanding concept from the previous exercise to develop a concise and tight topic for your publishing project or assignment.


If coming up with a writing topic is difficult, looping might be a useful prewriting strategy. It expands on the freewriting technique by asking you to repeat a series of freewriting activities. Find the key topic or concept in your first looping exercise and utilize it as a leaping point in your next looping activity.

After around five prewriting cycles, you should have produced concentrated thoughts that are tightly tied to a theme. These suggestions might assist you in developing a thesis statement or subject for your work.


When you’re presented with a big issue, if don’t know how to narrow your attention, make a list that can assist. Write as many words and concepts as you can in a list style in a short time, often five to ten minutes. Don’t be concerned with spelling or grammatical errors, and don’t overthink how you frame the notion.

Examine the list and categorize ideas according to their relationship. For example, put thoughts or words that have a common topic together. One sentence should describe each grouped relationships. By this step, you’ve narrowed down a wide topic to a specific theme or concept, with related terms and phrases listed under it. To lead, select the most significant or engaging statement.

Asking Questions

The question-asking strategy, sometimes known as “journalist’s questions,” makes use of the five Ws and one H that reporters aim to answer. Predicated on your central idea, you will answer the following inquiry prompts on the page:

  • What?
  • Who?
  • Where?
  • Why?
  • When?
  • How?

Prewriting Example

Love and vengeance are two distinctive emotions with their own set of rules. Love is traditionally viewed as a pleasant, joyous feeling, whereas vengeance is viewed as antagonistic and associated with destructive action. However, the basic emotion underpinning love and vengeance is untamed passion. Daniel’s deliberately orchestrated passion, whether it’s in response to his enduring love for Priya or his passionate loathing of Seema, doesn’t end at striking out at the people who matter most in his life. It seeps into the lives of the Cloudfall Valley’s next generation, including Sarah Conor, Bruce Sailor, and Linda.

Question-asking example

  • Who: Daniel, Priya, Seema, Sarah Conor, Bruce Sailor, and Linda
  • What: Throughout the narrative, love and vengeance are disguised as the other. Passion is the fundamental emotion that fuels generational discontent and misery.
  • Where: Cloudfall Valley
  • When: Seema’s bullying and later attempted murder of Daniel as punishment for being Mrs. Connor’s favored child, love between Priya and Daniel, Daniel seducing Rakhi to spite Priya’s marriage with Roshan.
  • Why: Daniel’s passion, whether fueling love or revenge against figures in his life, results in generational trauma for Sakshi and Daniel, who are forced to marry.
  • How: Love is commonly defined as positive, while revenge is scented negatively. Meanwhile, passion is more ambiguous yet is the most powerful driving force in American Heights and its characters.

Developing a prewriting method that matches your style of writing is entirely up to you. If one prewriting strategy doesn’t seem comfortable, try another one on the table until you discover one that does.

FAQs in Prewriting

Define Prewriting.

Prewriting is the first phase of writing. It is a method of idea generation that helps authors to link their primary arguments and indicate places that require additional research or supporting data.

Why Prewriting?

Prewriting creates a defined writing path for ideas from the beginning to the completion of an assignment. It helps authors focus by identifying a purpose and allowing them to properly communicate their ideas from one notion to the next. The end product is a well-written piece.

Are there types of Prewriting?

There are several prewriting strategies. Freewriting, Clustering, Looping, Listing, and answering journalistic questions are some of the most prominent forms of prewriting.

Final Thoughts

Writers can begin with many mistakes in their story or in the process of developing one. But if planned efficienly, writing a book and creating an online presence for people to follow your work is never a big deal. Developing plots are now a handy job with the help of tools. For example, you can visit this link: Plot Generator for quick plots. They work on the input given by us and develop based on the algorithm. It can be a quick help for suggesting ideas.

  • July 15, 2022