Today I went from continuing the scene assigned to me, to working out the names and characteristics of the main characters.
I notice that analysing short stories definitely helps me stay alert about the choices I make in my own writing - be it names of characters, settings, the themes I pick out, dialogues etc. They are like concentrated works of fiction, pack a definite punch. Oh and subtext. So much subtext.
I find that writing out scenes and character summaries works better for me, as opposed to writing everything on a screen. I also realised that while creating a character, using a list of things like name, age, etc. - about twenty points works. It's not too much, it's not too little. And I realise I have the freedom to write 'still figuring' next to the aspects that haven't revealed themselves to me yet.
I bought a giant notepad, like a legal pad, but 5 times the amount of paper. Whatever I write, I take it out and fill it in separate clear folders. Then I proceed to put the writing down on my system once I have worked out a scene. This really works for me.