jarandhel: (Default)
[personal profile] jarandhel posting in [community profile] writers
After a long hiatus, I'm trying -- once again -- to become a writer of fiction.  This has been a longstanding goal of mine, but things always seem to get in the way.  Never enough hours in the day, right?  But after a while, that stops being an explanation and starts becoming an excuse.  I've seen that, and have started pushing myself to write again.

Thing is, it's not happening.  Since I started trying to be a writer again, I haven't written even a single scene.  Instead, I find myself almost trapped in the brainstorming stage.  Creating characters, building plot... I'm putting together a better outline of my characters and plot than I ever have before, which has admittedly always been a weakness of my writing in the past, but I worry that I may be spending too much time on creating the characters and plot and not enough time actually writing the story.  I also worry that I'm spending too much time researching some elements I want to introduce in the story.  I hope that these actions will provide a depth and direction that my writing has previously lacked, but I'm kind of scared that if I spend too much time on these aspects I won't get to actually writing until after the flames of my passion for the story have gone out.  

Plus, I do want to actually start producing something and trying to market it. If that's my goal, I feel that I can't stand around forever waiting to start writing while I work out past histories and character traits that may never appear in the story itself.  On the other hand, if I don't work on those things, I know there's every chance that my characters and even the plot itself will come across as flat and two-dimensional.

For the published writers on here: What's your advice?  How much time do you devote to planning out characters and plot, and researching elements to include in your story, before you start writing it?  How do you know when the time has come to really put pen to paper and start writing your scenes?  Do you even bother planning in advance, or do you just let it flow organically?  And if the latter, how do you keep it on course so that it becomes an actual story rather than a series of relatively unrelated incidents strung together?
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