At Hypercompendia, Susan Gibb describes an interesting process:
Just when you think you know these people you find something out and you click open a writing space and you tell everyone else about it. Its free association at its finest and Ill read and reread until I know all there is to know about what they’ve been hiding from me.
I’m not sure about “free association” (which may be a correct descriptor), but I do know that the tool is promoting thinking in different ways than the linear environment. In terms of writing character, Neil Gaiman has mentioned the knowledge character’s feed the writer, an idea that is difficult to convey outside of the influence of the muse. Numerous fiction writers have written about the phenomenon.
In another sense, “writing” as a descriptive action is a generalization. Thinking is a better generalizer. Good writing on many levels is good thinking. In this sense writing is simile.