For me, my developing stage is where the details hatch out of the shell, if you will. I begin to write down the checkpoints between point A and point B. See in the ideation stage I only have the idea and the main point(s) of the story. But in developing the story further, I have to find the points that will connect everything together. This is where the details come in. Details on the story, backstory, characters (weight, height, ethnicity, personalities, etc.), time period, world building, etc.
Now granted some of these things are developed when I’m actually producing the project. A prime example are my characters. In the past, when I first started writing, I never really took the time to get to know my characters. They would develop as I wrote their story. This is back when I was younger. Now that I’m older, I’m experimenting with developing my characters before I write. It’s okay, but there are times when I just say bump it, I’ll just write and see what comes of if. I do like the spontaneity of letting the characters develop and their stories along with them.
The developing stage is also where I gather some of the notes on certain aspects of the project. If there is any research that I have to do, plot points that are missing, filling in minor gaps and the like. All of this has notes and none of these notes are really all that organized ;-). I’ll have notes for one project written down on paper, other notes on the same project stored in the computer or a thumb drive or stored on some other device. I label them so I know which project they go to though. All my written notes are stored together in a file.
It’s at this point that when I feel I’ve gathered enough information then I can start writing the novel. I don’t have to have all the answers or all the information because things always change. I just need a jumping off point. When I feel I’ve found that jumping point then I start the production stage…