Three Quarters of the Way
by, March 15th, 2011 at 02:32 PM (641 Views)
I don't do a lot of world building before I start a short story. I usually know the setting, the central conflict, and have a sketchy idea of the characters. I don't outline and the worldbuilding I do is minimal, although I have a basic concept.
The writing then becomes about discovery. I learn a lot from writing the first three quarters of the story. And then I stop. About three quarters other way through, I always reach a point at which I don't know enough. It could be because I need to re-examine the characters or better define their motivations. Or it could be that I've realized the setting needs tweaking.
Regardless of what triggers it, that point of crisis often redefines the story as well. It forces me to ask the right questions, the ones that will move the story forward and create depth and detail in the world I've been building as I wrote.
Do you find yourselves doing this, too? Are you a planner even with short stories, or do you build a lot of your characters, worlds, settings or plots while you're writing?