A few weeks ago I wrote a post detailing the different phases of the writing process. Today, I want to focus on the first two phases of the process. Primarily, I want to ask the question, when should you stop planning and start writing? Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rule to answer this question. I can’t provide a fixed amount of time that is ideal and I can’t give you a formula to figure it out. Every writer will require a different amount of planning. Although there is no right or wrong answer to this question, there are some things you can take into account when deciding how much planning your writing project will take.
I have a couple of posts planned that will look at the phases of the writing process. I want to look at how they interact with each other and dive deeper into what they really mean. Before asking the harder questions, I thought I’d do a quick post defining these phases. Having a common vocabulary will make it easier to discuss them further. Alright, I’m going to stop sounding like a professor now. Here is how I (and many other writers) divide the process up so that it is more easily digestible. There are five phases of the writing process between having an idea and the finished product in a reader’s hands. Breaking the writing process down into phases makes writing projects (especially large ones) more manageable. So, think about where you are on your current project and figure out what phase you’re in. Think about what you need to do to complete that phase and move on to the next.
One of my favorite parts of the writing process is getting to know my characters inside and out. I want to know each and every detail about who they are, where they come from, and what their life has been. I’m fascinated by the writer’s ability to create people out of nothing. They reach a level of realism in which not only you, but others care about them as well. An important part of achieving this level of detail is knowing what your characters look like. Some writers prefer to model their characters after celebrities or people they know. I, on the other hand, rarely find someone who looks just like how I imagine the character in my head. This leads me to today’s topic. It’s time to put down the character sketches and start sketching your characters.