Discovered a trailer for a documentary coming out about heavy metal in Baghdad. Which is also the name of the film.
Writer’s block is not an occasional obstacle. It’s ever-present. Like a lid on a boiling pot. It’s gravity. It’s entropy. It’s a struggle for everybody. (Except maybe bad writers who think everything they write is awesome right out of the gate.) If we writers didn’t have the desire to create, to leave something behind, to be read and appreciated, we wouldn’t do it. Not even if they put a gun to our head.
Writers HATE writing.
(It’s just that we’re so bad at everything else.)
The simple answer is that it’s totally up to you. Because in the long run you’ll revise both so much it won’t matter what you did first.
I have created characters with no back story, threw them in a scene, watched how they reacted, then created a back story for them. Then during a rewrite of that scene, they acted a little differently because of their back story. And they way they acted gave me some ideas for adding depth and texture to their back story. And so on.
And the exact same thing happened when I created a back story for a character before throwing them into a scene.
I did something this morning to help me write. I use a Google Sites wiki to both write my novel, as well as store ideas and notes about characters, locations, concepts, etc. And there is an option in Google Sites to make a page two columns. If the page is a chapter page, I use this format and put the narrative in the left column, and an outline and notes in the right. Now, to help me get in the mood of the scene, I’ve been putting images in the top of the right column. So far I’ve just been putting location pictures that most closely match the location I envision in my head. But I can see putting pictures of people and objects as well. And with tools like Google Images or stock photo sites, finding what you need is a breeze.
Here’s an excerpt:
When children are very young, they all express creativity, but by the end of the first grade, very few do so. This is because of socialization. They learn in school to stay on task and to stop daydreaming and asking silly questions. As a result, the expression of new ideas is largely shut down. We end up leaving creative expression to the misfits—the people who can’t be socialized. It’s a tragedy.