Sometimes I wonder if I put too much effort into my backstories. I'm currently plotting out the new sections to the first half of The Paladin (Remember, I'm cutting the story in half and making it into two books now!) and I just can't move forward until I know exactly what the villain has been doing behind the scenes for every part of the action.
So far it's moved by fairly decently, but I find myself occasionally stuck. Sure, I could write without know what they're up to, but... no. No I can't. I just can't. I need to know how all the cogs are fitting together so I know where people can be and what they can be doing. I need to understand motivation and context for everything.
That's not to say that you absolutely need to know what's going on in the background in order to write your story, especially if it's a "one and done" kind of deal, but if you plan on writing more (as I do) you're going to eventually have to explain what was going on. Trust me, I've watched enough CinemaSins to know this.
So I will continue to push forward, figuring out what my villain is doing at any given moment. Has it hampered me? Only a little. Will it pay off later? I certainly hope so.
What about you guys? Do you need to plan (if not plot) out every detail before you start or are you a discovery writer?
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Keep your eyes open for my debut novel, The Paladin.