I’m getting ready to write yet another novel, and I noticed a lot of people come here using the search term ‘Snowflake Method’. Well, I use it.
If you’re not familiar with it, click the link to it in the sidebar then read the article. That’s what I do when I’m getting ready to write something. I have a couple days left before I start (going to be participating in JulNoWriMo (yet another NaNo spinoff), so I’m at the spreadsheet outline step. Spreadsheets are awesome.
I usually skip the step where you do the detailed character sheets because I throw them away when I’m writing (which is where I find out who these people are). I set the sheets up (on PBWiki, which is also awesome) and notewhen I find out something important (for example, that Javin can’t swim). I never get to the part where you summarize each scene, because I usually run out of time. But that’s procrastination more than anything else.
Everyone is different. I can’t write without knowing something about what I’m going to write about, and an outline helps me remember what my plot was (my memory sucks), so in the middle of speedwriting I’m not trying to research something or remember how I had planned to get two twelve year old children, an elderly knight with a bad heart and a blind archer past a stockade complete with armed guards. 🙂 If you can do without an outline, great.
So that’s what I do. Plan it out, set a deadline for planning (I plan the month before a marathon), then start writing as fast as I can!