As a fiction writer, do you prefer a lot of prep work, or jumping straight in?
Some writers prefer to make outlines, character profiles and extensive notes before beginning a new story, and some prefer to jump right in to the action. Which kind of writer are you and why would you say that method works best for you?
I jump in blind, knowing nothing of the story until it develops some form. I usually concentrate on writing about a person first, then create the story as I see what kind of person I have. Sounds weird, but it seems to work for me.
I'm more of a "jump right in" kind of writer. I do create a very basic outline for each story, but only a few sentences about each chapter so I have a general idea where things are going. The outline often changes as I go. I do have some character profiles, but I didn't start off with anything very specific. I write a series that always has the same main characters, so as I write something new in a story, I add it to the profile so I don't make that fact different in a later book. For characters appearing only in one book, I simply add details as I need them. With the main characters already developed and a basic idea for the "extra" characters and the plot, I start writing and go with the flow of ideas that pop into my head as I write.
I have done it both ways, but I prefer to have an outline and character profiles. Regardless, I always enter into my story knowing that things may not go as I had planned, and that's okay.
Really depends on my mood. One time I'll just randomly make a story, have loads of ideas and then not bother to do anything with them, or I'll create a massive universe and heaps of lore surrounding a certain amount of characters, and then never do anything with them. I just can't seem to finish what I started because I want to put in ALL my ideas, or do things that would contradict what I said earlier. I'm not very good at fiction writing, but fictional thinking I can do very well!
It depends on the story.
Some demand a lot of research. Some beg for research, simply because it is so interesting. And sometimes the muse strikes and says, "Forget about it; just write!"
I use whatever method is right for the story at hand.
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