At Hypercompendia, Susan Gibb writes on building method:
Today’s a bit of a turning point in this new project since I’ve decided to continue with the story but am approaching it in a different way so that I don’t feel lost because I’m not filling out Writing Spaces as fluidly as I did with Paths. The greatest thing about Storyspace is that if I peter out on one path, there are many others that may be taken further if my mind is onto them.
The question of what to do when the wall goes up is true of Brimmer and Death, a short story project I’m deep into at the moment. It began with an image about which I knew nothing: a conversation, a mountain, and a deer’s eye. A few steps later I had Brimmer’s voice. And while it’s a long way from over, the organization finally led to what I’d call the story’s arc.
The story began with links from the word “miracle.” As begun, each letter of he word would lead to a separate thread of the story as it concerned Brimmer’s relationship with Death. It took me until the letter “e”–called the Star Thread–to find the key, after logging several plot skeletons driven by intuition.
For example, as Brimmer worked his way through the future, say a few hundred years into it, Brimmer’s realationship to Death was up for grabs. Why would she have a relationship with him in the first place and how would this potentiality assist in Brimmer’s decisions and ideas, and, importantly, when would it come into play? Relationships are complicated forces, after all, and they don’t come cheap.
It seems that I’m following a similar pattern of hopping around with Gap insofar as I’m zeroing in on characters and setting before forming a full image of the story. But then, the characters, by their traits, habits, and as you point out, decisions and ideas, are exactly what writes a story I suppose.