I don't know if every writer experiences this phase of writing--maybe some writers jump from project to project with full force and no pauses--but it's typically been part of my process. I'll call it "percolating," for lack of a better word.
It's the phase when I
have part of a story--a character, a voice, a basic plot or
situation--but not enough to start writing. Something's bubbling away in
my brain, but it's at a subconscious level. I get glimmers, slivers of
dialogue, flashes of partial scenes. I try sketchy outlines, I do
stream-of-consciousness writing exercises. I do a lot of thinking.
this phase, I often write scenes and openings that don't go anywhere.
Starts and stops, trial and error. I am finding my way in to the story. I
am waiting, but part of me is working. The progress is invisible. But a
change is happening.