I had a thought.
It's quite a good thing to do; thoughts are generally quite useful, in theory. Some may be better thoughts than others; some may be rather pointless, others may be great thoughts, but you just don't carry them out.
Anyway, back to my thought.
(No, it's not the only thought I have, but it is one of them.)
I was reading Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft into a Published Book by Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson, and it was talking about making your deeper characters.
(It's chapter 2, by the way, in case you have the book and want to go look it up. Just to make sure I'm not lying. And if you don't have it, get it.)
It wasn't the actual exercises that gave me the thought, although they did begin my train of thought that eventually thought up my thought, as you will see if you keep reading down.
(See how crazy my brain is?)
I answered the questions for my antagonist (and my main character, but the antagonist's questionnaire was more revealing). One of the questions asked about a secret desire that your character had. Anyway, to make a long story into a short one, I wrote a short 'story' about my antagonist, and some of the factors that caused him to become the villain he is.
(It wasn't a very good story… badly written… telling rather than showing… narrative summary... but it did the point, and I can always rewrite it.)
So, my thought was…
Why don't writers write lots and lots and lots of stories about their characters, and their world?
(Or maybe they do, in which case the question should be 'Why don't I?')
Why don't writers/we write scenes that go in between the published scenes?
For example, if your characters are going on a overnight hike, write out all their conversation from the evening. Describe the trip in as much detail as you want. If there are two years in between two chapters, write as many scenes in those two years as you want. It will give you an idea of what your characters got up to during those two years, and will develop their character further.
I guess if writers don't, there has to be a reason for it. Either: a) they haven't thought of it or b) the 'con's are greater than the 'pro's. Or I'm just the only writer who doesn't do it.
Character development–you often won't write long scenes with characters sitting around a fire talking, but some of those conversations might be very beneficial for character development.
World development–you can write descriptions as long as you want, because you're the only who'll need to read them.
Story development–sometimes those conversations will spark a new direction for the plot or subplot. And maybe those scenes will become crucial and be used in a later draft or sequel.
You might get emotionally attached to those scenes (not likely for some writers, but some might) and want to put them in the novel.
Takes up time that you could spend writing other things.
I would personally say that the 'pro's overwhelm the 'con's, for me at least.
Now that I've written all of this, I can now remember that I have heard some writers say that they do this… maybe I'm just an non-backstorying anomaly.
Only way to settle this… I'll have to ask my loyal, devoted, (and possibly traitorous) (okay, hopefully not traitorous) readers.
The question is, then:
Do you write all the filler/backstory scenes to fit into your project?
For some reason, this post has been written with a much less formal tone than my other ones. (At least it seems like that to me.) Do you prefer my more formal tone, or this 'write-my-thoughts-down-as-they-come-to-me' mad rush post?