Yesterday I posted a little bit about the writing process, and how it can sometimes drive writers to the loony bin (admit it, you have to be a little crazy to be a writer!).
For some reason, the writing process of other authors really fascinates me. Writing is such a personal experience and everyone does it a bit differently.
For example, I found a nice blog post on JK Rowling's writing process, as well as an article Stephen King wrote about The Writing Life . (and if you haven't already read his book On Writing, then you need to make some time to check it out!)
From what I can tell, there are two basic kinds of writers:
* The Planners, who plan everything out before they start writing
* The Impulsive, who write on the fly.
I am definitely a planner. To the extreme. I'm talking nerd planning status here people. Seriously.
Here's a peek inside the computer folder for my first novel:
Inside my main folder, there are folders with more folders. Word docs. Excel sheets. Inspirational photos (I told you--nerd) Character bios, World-Building, Plot Ideas, Book Publishing Ideas, Query Letters (ack!).
It goes on... and on.
With my first novel, I planned, outlined, and Character Bio-ed (eww-not sure I can make that a verb) for about six months before I started writing. Yeah, crazy, I know. Part of that is because I write fantasy, so I have to create an entire world. So... that takes time.
Some people can't write like this, it's too stifling. It kills their creative impulse as they write. But for me, it is fantastic. I can plan out an entire book series this way and then I'm ready to sit down and write (which is the best part). This way, I can write with confidence. I know my characters (very well)--where they are in the beginning and where I want to take them. I can clearly see story archs and how the plot plays out. All of it clearly laid out on an Excel sheet.
I love me some Excel sheets. *sigh*
For me, I couldn't write any other way, but I know going to such great lengths to plan everything out beforehand would drive some writers nutters.
Don't get me wrong, there is definitely room for on the fly creativity. My characters constantly surprise me and take the story in places I don't expect. But for the most part, I know exactly what their future holds (cue evil laugh **mu-wah-ha-ha**).
So how about you? I am really, really curious about other writers and what their process is--from story idea to finished novel. Are you a planner or an impulsive (yeah... I'm taking the freedom to use that as a noun). Please, do tell. :)