I am fascinated by the various ways in which writers experience inspiration, and the ways in which this experience impacts how they create their stories.

When you write a novel, do you ever experience a wave of inspiration that allows you to write feverishly and with little need for planning? Or does inspiration come quietly, and remain as a sure but unassuming foundation as you move forward with methodical planning? What level of planning do you engage in before you actually write the manuscript? Do you create detailed descriptions of your characters and work out the intricacies of the plot before you begin to write?

When I write a poem, I spend a bit of time in my head, but most of the creative energy arrives in a wave of inspiration that somehow comes to me from an unknown sea. I write the poem in a flash, and then I spend some time tweaking it, but most of the material seems as if it was regaled to me from some nameless deity of the arts.

Presently, I am trying to write a novel, and I do not know if that "ride the wave" experience I have when writing poetry is very common when writing a work such as a novel. In any event, I am sure that the waves do not arrive reliably or often enough. I imagine that in novel writing I might work with a simultaneous experience of inspiration and careful planning that somehow manage to feed each other.

How do you go about writing a story? And how does inspiration impact the way you write it?

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