How do you write stories?

When writing stories do you spend days or even weeks or months planning out the background and details? Or do you dive right in? Do you write in the first person? third person? even second person? What do you have to do to get in the mindset of a character.

There are two types of stories that I write: the ones where I don't know what I am going to write until it hits the page, and ones that I take forever planning. Most of the things that I don't know what will come out until it hits the page is somewhat auto-biographical. And they are in the first person.

When I write a story that I plan out, I draft the beginnings a few times to start off with. Then I go and do a through background for each character. I start by writing up a roleplay-esque profile for them, which includes minute details of appearance, as well as sparse notes on their history and interests. I then proceed to write up a backstory if they are an important character, or a more detailed history if they are a minor character. I find music that I associate with each major character. If it is set in a different world than our own, I draw maps. If it is set in our world, I do research on the location. If I am bringing anything up in the story that I don't know that much about, I do research on it before starting.

Only when I have done all that do I write my first full (real) draft. I then proceed to re-write it stem to stern about 4 times. And then edit it another 10 to 20 times.

There is a reason that I don't generally try to write novels. Or if I do, they are of the mosaic variety. I would drive myself insane.

I want to hear the process of other writers!

Adrienne Etienne Houseman
I write off the top of my head. Once I come to a roadblock aka writers block I take time off and think of new ideas for a couple of days. I'll come back and continue.

I write in 3rd person. It makes it easier to write in 3rd person. More understandable, too. If you're going to have a conversation with somebody some people might get confused or dizzy reading a 1st person response.

In order to get me inspired to write I need to watch a good sci-fi show or fantasy. Those seem to get me ready to write a good story with lots of depth, adventure and fighting.


Epic Gamer
For my Demon stories, I already have enormous background stories, histories, etc in my mind, which I've built up over the years.


Certified Shitlord
I come up with an idea, write it down, explore it in my mind a bit, write some of it, and continue expanding the outline. If I like it past that point, I'll keep working on it.
I daydream in school and at work a lot about how my animal stories are gonna end so I write it down and see if it works. I also have to create character histories, develop personalities, relationships and their roles in the stories.

I had a story where I made them live in a Star Wars universe.


Registered Member
I don't usually start at the beginning. In fact, most of the time I start writing something and draw ideas from that and continue on from there. If it's worthwhile I will pursue it, otherwise I just drop it and leave it where it falls. But it takes awhile to figure out whether I want to continue with a piece or not. I'll edit while I'm going and create many drafts in just one sitting but figure out later it's not worth the effort or time. There have been occasions where I pick up a fallen piece and try to continue on, but most of the time I let them go; which would explain all the papers scattered about my room with chicken scratch on them :D
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