As I develop my current story-line I’ve come across an interesting quandary. How much planning is too much planning. I know many writers who just dive right into the meat of it. They figure they’ll sort it all out later. I can appreciate that. It allows you to get things down on paper and let your characters drive. You let them speak to you, and show you those extraneous details as you move along. However you leave yourself open to getting bogged down during the actual process; stuck on some detail that could have been decided on before hand.
This is where my personal taste wants to take over and plan. I like to know the area that my characters are in. The name of the town, the street name, the mayor, and even a bit of their family history. Those are details I feel need to have been setup ahead of time. The reason being is that I feel this frees me up during the writing process. Instead of coming to a point where I might need to come up with a detail only to stall. I can just look it up in my story ‘bible’, the move forward. But then the problem comes down to getting caught up in doing too much planning. I can get caught planning forever. Never coming to a point to actually write the book. When you’ve reached that point then it isn’t doing you any good.
Too little or too much planning both feel as if they can get you into a bit of trouble. On one hand you can get tripped up while writing, unable to move forward. Where the other you can spend all your time detailing things out, only to be unable to move forward. I’m sensing a theme on both ends.
We need to find a way to move forward.