Finding the ways to fill the time
At what point does an idea reach the level of story criticality (there’s been a lot of nuclear news in Japan recently) required for beginning to write a story?
Some can write without a plan, and I envy that. I suffer from overloaded-complexity-kills-story syndrome, and spend more time writing out outlines to flesh out the characters, their world and culture than I have making a story from it. There are maps, anatomy sketches, a 72 page profile document containing every character nuance from their relationship with their father to their diet, social hierarchy, hair styles… Is this necessary to colour and provide background to a realistic world. Imagining up an entire eco-system is a really daunting task.
I made the decision a long time ago to try and describe an alien world without any human context at all, which means being really aware of what metaphors and similes can be used. One way to get into the world more, and actually produce some writing, was by writing my daily diary imagining my a character in this world would fulfill those chores and tasks.
It’s sometimes hard to admit how long I’ve been attempting to write about this fictional universe. I feel like I know more about it than ever before, and I hope it will interest others when a story finally gets done, but at the moment, ironically, all that detail is like the marble encasing one of Michelangelo’s unfinished statues, and both I and the story are struggling to get free.