I have a problem...

A nice problem nonetheless for writers to have…

I seem to have ideas coming out of my ears…

  • TBelle/KOIS Universe - A 5/6 novel epic - Put on hold until I’ve refined my craft on other projects.

  • Brotherhood Screenplay - An adaptation of a big bang WIP - After Surviving Dragon Burns

  • Surviving Dragon Burns - Fantasy novel - Planning

  • PTerry novel - An idea I planned for Terry Pratchett competition - After Surviving Dragon Burns

  • NaNoWriMo 2010 entry - Using plots from fandom using original characters - Planning

  • The Angel & The Wolf - Just a title so far - About two female protagonists.

What really slows me down is the planning/outline stage. It’s been two months for Surviving Dragon Burns and I’m still not finished.

I’m pretty quick when it comes to plotting/synopsis but sketching the characters is what seems to take me ages. The snowflake method has speeded me up but not enough as the backlog keeps growing. I hope the release of Scrivener for Windows and maybe Santa delivering an alphasmart neo fingers crossed for Christmas may help but I would be grateful for any tips on speeding up the planning/outlining process.

I don’t have a direct suggestion for speeding up the planning process, but I would suggest at some point considering how many proverbial irons in the fire you have, and which one or two mean the most to you. Focus on them, and maybe try just writing story (narrative, plot, action, dialogue, events) rather than planning so much.

Backgrounds and details and research are integral to good stories, but so is writing.
There is a reason ideas alone cannot be copyrighted. Ideas are the easy part. So are concepts.
Writing a novel, or even a decent short story, is more than an idea and scaffolding.

Just a (couple of) thought(s)…

Lengthy planning is par for the course really if you are looking to be successful in the fantasy genre. It’s all about creating a fascinating and enchanting world and poulating it with all sorts of colourful characters and details… And to be consistent and convincing you really need to have a clear vision while you are doing the writing.

On the plus side, once you have made this investment and created a world that people love to visit, it’s a rich environment that you can re-use and expand for many projects to come.

Focus seems to me to be important - I don’t know how I could work on so many projects on the same time.

Ideas keep bubbling up but I find it more productive to channel them into one project at a time. This is also why I keep my planning on the sketch level - the story and the characters develop as I write.

Ideas and characters that don’t fit get recorded in my memory banks. I don’t bother to jot them down; if they are strong enough they will survive and be reminding me of themselves next time I want to start a project. Otherwise, who cares, there are plenty of ideas - the writer’s curse.