I have decided to take up writing as a hobby. First because I have so many ideas and like creating things. Second, because I enjoy it so far and thirdly, I like the idea that if my writing is any good, others may want to read it.

So my issue right now has to do with my approach to writing. I am working on a sci-fi novel with integrate plot lines. I have been spending most of my time developing the plot lines and trying to storyboard them. I haven't worked out a climax that I like yet but I feel like I'm spending so much time preparing to write, with out having done much narrative writing yet.

On the other hand, I don't feel like I can properly begin writing until I have the story clearly laid out in my mind. I'm sure everyone does things differently. I don't feel like I can write this kind of story in a free flowing create-while-you-write method. But since this is my first attempt at weighting a novel, I don't know if I'm being too perfectionist, or if I'm getting stuck in planning mode.

4 Answers 4


There are plotters, and discovery writers. You sound like a plotter. There's nothing wrong with that. Take the time you need to outline your story so you feel comfortable with it, and additionally accept that things will change as you go.

There are many different methods to creating a plot, and none of them are wrong; you just have to figure out what works for you. The Snowflake Method and the Hero's Journey are two structures/processes which I've recommended before.

What you should be wary of, and what happens more often to SF/F fantasy writers, is Worldbuilder's Syndrome, where you spend so much time creating the world for your story to be set in and polishing all the details that you never get around to writing your story.

  • 1
    Yes, great answer. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 18:53

Start writing. Don't be so afraid to get it wrong. A writer can get a long way by emphasizing quantity over quality.

  • 1
    That's a good point.
    – JBP
    Commented Jan 23, 2016 at 3:10
  • I don’t think that is true at all. We live in the age of tl;dr and endless reboots of past works. If creating something new, go for quality. A great short story adds something to the world while a crappy novel is just not going to even get read. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 18:55
  • 2
    I mean that a writer who produces a lot of output may go further than one who frets over making it perfect and produces very little. Commented Feb 10, 2016 at 23:34
  • I think the point here is to write a lot, without expecting that all of it will make it into the final draft. Editing and revision will trim the piece down to what's necessary. Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 20:47

Writing and World building are different. It sounds to me that, even though you like the world building part, you could be postponing the writing part. If you ever want to finish a book, it is critical that you like writing. So let's test it.

Just write a small story. It could be a side story, it could be the main plot of your book, it could be a story that just happens to happen in your world, it could even be something completely unrelated to your story. The reason you write it is solely to confirm to yourself that you like writing and that you can finish the book.

If you know you like writing, it doesn't matter how long your worldbuilding takes. Some stories need a good background, and that costs time. This is not a bad thing.


Well, I just spill my heart and soul and guts onto the page, and then arrange it all into a good book afterwards. I am doing this with the first book I've ever written, and although it takes a couple of years, you eventually get good enough to edit it into something great. Cheerio!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.