Saturday, February 9, 2013

Too Much Development?

Ahem.  My esteemed fellow writers.

I have a question for you.

Do you ever find yourself spending too much time on developing a story and not enough time actually writing it?

You see, I've think I've developed a small problem.  I've been spending the majority of my writing time the last few weeks planning my stories.  I am a very analytical, organized, detail oriented person by nature and thus a lot of meticulous worldbuilding goes into my stories anyway.  But this last week I noticed I've not actually done much writing each day.  Oh, I've done some, but it usually amounts to a few snippets and hastily sketched scenes to write out in full later.  And then I go back to naming minor characters, looking up castles for models, deciding what costumes will be for each person or country, or figuring out what types and breeds of horses I am going to limit myself to.

Now, all of this is most necessary information in order to have a truly believable world.  But, if I don't actually write the story, I won't need all that detail, will I?

I have concluded I need to balance my planning/worldbuilding/developing more evenly with the actual writing.  So, from now on, I will be making myself write at least 500 words a day before doing any developing.  And hopefully I'll be able to actually finish a manuscript before spring.

Have any of you ever run into this problem?

In the middle of all this planning a new story idea came knocking.  So now I have a new story in the works.  Post on it coming soon....

Miss Melody Muffin


  1. I knew I wasn't the only one!! I *do* spend an awful lot of time world-building, character-naming, writing histories, and all that stuff. Sure, it's fun to do that, and it'll probably help you as you're putting together your story, but I caught myself once filling out a complete family tree and naming people who had been dead for dozens of years. Yeah... and those names won't even be in the story itself. :)

    Well, on the flip side of that... sometimes there can never be enough development. When you write a story, you have to believe it's real, because then you will really WRITE it and your readers will believe the same. Your world must be complete and full, not just a handful of random characters and a tiny sketch of a map. You can only really believe it's real when you have all that development... well, developing.

    But how to balance between the two? How much is too much? Ugh, that's the question. And no writer really wants to answer it.

  2. I do that waaaay too often! And I still haven't figured out how to balance it. So I currently have 50+ stories bouncing around in my head, waiting to be written, and I can't seem to get past the fear that I haven't put enough thought into them.

    Wish I could tell you something helpful :)

  3. Oh my, yes! My own fantasy series is nearly fully developed in my head (maybe), but there's very little of it actually written down. And I totally hear you all about family trees, planning costumes for each character, deciding what the places in the story will look like, etc. It's so much fun! ...and yet, you're right, Melody, that it's no good unless one actually writes the story that all this information and planning pertains to, wot?

    You have a good idea about doing some actual writing before allowing yourself to "world-build." You might want to have an accountability partner--someone who will ask you each day (or whenever), "Did you write your 500 words?" to help you stick to your goal.

    Best wishes with your writing!
    God bless,
    ~"Wild Rose"~

  4. Heh, I'm only a month behind in blog commenting... :P

    Hmm...I am not very good at worldbuilding yet, really. It either happens naturally, while I'm writing, or I'm left staring blankly at strange mish-mash of details on a page. :P But for the worldbuilding to happen (hee, when it does :) I need to be inspired by other stories...and yeah, I can tell myself I'm "researching" or finding inspiration for a verrrrrrrrrrrry long time... XD

    This semester it's been working nicely though, because I have a class where I don't have to actually take notes, so I've been able to just write stories while listening to the professor. So that's kept me writing a bit more than usual - and in a place where I cannot get distracted by anything other than the lecture. :)

  5. I've been writing seriously for almost 20 years, and it's still tough to find a good balance sometimes. I'm working on a novel right now that I got the first idea for almost 2 years ago, but it took me 18 months to start writing it thanks to Real Life. And I'm glad it did, because I know these characters and this world so very well, and the writing is singing. Sometimes a wait can be good! As long as you really do start writing eventually :-)


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