This post is part of the A-Z Blogging Challenge 2015. If this is something new to you, check out the website here to find out all you need to know.
Taking on a study module or large writing project can be quite an undertaking, so anything you can do to get yourself prepared for it can only be for the good.
I've found that even for short stories, the more preparation I can do before writing the first draft, the easier it is. Writing down background information for the characters, getting into their mindsets and motivations, makes it easier to write from each of their perspectives. Jotting down a scene by scene guide helps focus my drafting as well. I've tried being a pantster but it just doesn't work for me.
Preparing for studying is also essential. Some background for the subject can give you an idea of what you'll be focusing on, and getting to know your campus, or website and forums if you're distance learning can make the whole experience much more enjoyable.
I have nearly finished my current module for this year and have already signed up for my next one, Nineteenth Century Novels. We will be reading and studying quite a few books for that one, so I'm trying to get as prepared as I can by reading them all before hand.
In a lot of ways, the planning and preparation can take just as much, if not more, time than the actual studying or drafting!