Where I contemplate plots, characters, what the point of the story is, what drives it, why should I care, why other people should care, and why it's worthwhile to write it if at all. I may in fact write a chapter or two and then lose interest. I may write out long background on each character, getting down every little detail so if I actually decide to sit down and write the story someday, I'll have all of my notes and summaries to fall back on.
Up until 4 months ago... this was where I honestly went to. I really never got past this stage until now.
I'm actually writing my first rough rough draft. IF I have more than 20,000+ words dedicated to this story by this point, I am now officially spewing real work, potential publish-someday-material, and I'm not just thinking and making IDEA STAGE fodder. The work is consistent. I can even say how many words I'm writing on a week to week basis. YAY!
rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite... everybody now...
(A stage I have not had to privilege to really KNOW as of this day in 2009. I've had my brush with a rewrite but it isn't a real rewrite for me, in my mind, unless I have a complete story to rewrite. That is all 80K to 100K completed size of it. And that mile mark is yet to be accomplished in this amateur writer's list of accomplishments. Don't worry I'll get there... It's on my bucket list of things to do before I die.)
I've heard other people talk about this stage... It sounds cool... I have no idea what it will be like. SOOOO, I oogle at it, raise an eyebrow in its general direction, consider myself at pre-published stage, and contemplate what I will do when I actually cross this finish line. How will it feel? Will I cry? Will I scream?! Will I buy a huge TUB of ice cream and celebrate brain freeze style?
Will my kids still consider me their mom and not that "strange person who talks to herself sitting in the corner, in her pajama attire writing" by then?????
That will definitely be a confession time...
Maybe even therapy?
AND... that is about the extent of my writing "stages" at this point. I'm sure as I actually write and write and write some more, move on in my knowledge and experience of writing I'll have more stages. I'm just enjoying the point in my life where I'm writing consistently. As in, every day I look forward to the kids being in bed and having 3 to 4 hours of real writing time. I look forward to it EVERY day!
There is so much about writing I have not yet experienced. The whole journey and repeating it.
It's a ride!