Writers – how much preparation should you do before you start writing properly?

A tricky question, I though I knew the answer but now I am not quite as certain.

When I first started writing as a writer with the intent of being a writer I took a long time planning out the plot, characters and the story before I sat down and actually started chapter 1. I would have maybe a dozen or so pages of notes and a mind map board of how it all fits together so that I had “lived with it” before it started.

I saw this as a necessary stage to enable me and my writing brain to be comfortable bed pals before getting down to the act itself.

Nowadays I am less pre-planned that ever before. On a whim and after only a page or two of high level thoughts and ideas I sat down and wrote a YA/crossover novel. The first draft was written in 18 writing days out of 22 days and weighed in at 76,700 words. It is currently in the editing and proofing stage.

Two days later, without any notes or thoughts whatsoever, I sat down to write the second book in that series. Fifteen writing days later (out of 16 in total) the first draft was written at 61,300 words. I made some notes as I went along, but these were minimal.

So, over the space of 5 weeks, (16 September to 24 October) I had written 2 YA novels comprising a total of 138,000 words.

So, I hear you say, what is the point of this blog? Am I just showing off? no, I hope that doesn’t come across. I am hoping to get across that as well as us all being different, we can act and be different depending on our mood, what we are trying to achieve and possibly the subject matter but can still write.

But most of all I want to get across that you as a writer can get down to the writing and write. If you want to write that book then you will, so stop procrastinating and get down to it. If you have notes, great, if you don’t, then just start to write and see if there is that feeling of freedom from the writing of that story.

We can all find very reasonable valid arguments NOT to write, but how about we turn that baby on its head, start by writing and just keep writing and that will get the creative juices flowing and like all things, you will become more fluent with practice.

And remember this piece of wisdom, it is far easier to edit something than stare at a blank screen or piece of paper and wondering what the hell to do.

So, whether you are the full on notes up the ying yang pre-start guru or the what the heck kind of writer, get down and dirty and let me see some ink on that page.

Writing is writing, everything else is just a form of procrastination, I should know I have procrastination certificates covering my wall.

But, I also have 6 completed novels in various stages of readiness and once I have had all of my beta reader and copy editor feedback in and processed they will be unleashed. Who knows I may have written a few more by then as well.


About purpleandrew

Andrew, recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome is a 54 year old former geologist always had short hair, suited & booted for work. That all changed when the credit crunch hit. Now a complimentary therapist, hospital radio presenter, and writer. Andrew writes crime thrillers, Young Adult, and fantasy books as well as blogging about writing and other stuff that he feels strongly about.
This entry was posted in fantasy faery story, Fendrels' Tale, managing your writing, my blogs, The Handbook of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing, The second trilogy, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Writers – how much preparation should you do before you start writing properly?

  1. When I start a book I do a rough outline chapter by chapter. I don’t always work on the chapters in sequential order. Since I write mysteries sometimes the bad guy changes,

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