"[O]utlines and sketches, maps and histories, jotted scenes and scraps of dialogue [are] the writer's equivalent of what a composer does when he plinks out a new theme on the piano, just to hear it. He doesn't immediately score and orchestrate the theme. First, he has to play it over and over, varying it, changing rhythms, pitches, key, imagining different harmonies and countermelodies. By the time the composer... arrange[s] and orchestrate[s] the piece, the theme will have been transformed many times over."
--Orson Scott Card, How to Write Science Fiction and FantasyNote: I've never read a better book on generating ideas and turning them into stories. This needs an ebook edition.