To plan or not to plan?
Question: So I've been writing lately, without much planning because when I do I get stuck. The problem with that is now I'm having trouble with names and the main species background. With the names, I've used several name generators, looked at baby name lists, and looked up meanings of names. I can't find any telephone books to search. With the species, I know they're in a civil war but I'm having trouble deciding why they are in said war.
I don't want to stop and go back to major planning because I get caught up in it more than I do writing. But if I don't I might be stuck for a while and have to resort to names like 'Jane Doe' and the likes for a while. Any ideas? Thank you for any help!Answer:
Certainly with character names it can be helpful to just use a place-holder name for now, to avoid slowing down your writing process. Eventually, the right names may come to you if you keep your ears open.
With the civil war, that rather depends on your characters' perception of it. Lots of people get caught up in wars with very little understanding of what the conflict is all about. If that's the case with your hero, you may be able postpone your understanding of the background until you're in the revision stage. It will be helpful for you, as the writer, to know eventually what's going on because that will explain why and what events are happening.
Of course, if your main character is a general, that's a different matter.
It may help to consider that most wars are fought for economic reasons. They are fought by the powerful for control over resources such as land, labour, or transportation routes (even if the people are told different reasons).