I'm OCD. Just stating that for the record. No, I've never been to a doctor about it, but I sort of know myself well enough to know that I have, um, issues. I'm like that really short insurance guy on the movie The Incredibles who lines up the pencils on his desk.
I know I like things to be "just so." I obsess over the smallest things. I plan events down to the minute. I live and breathe by a schedule in all that I do. You didn't think I actually got up and wrote my post and had it ready to go right at 7 AM every morning, did you? Ha ha ha! No. I plan. Execute. Schedule.
Somehow, though, this way of living has not spilled over into my writing. My life is not creative--writing is. So I let myself go and just write whatever I want. No outline. A vague plan. No schedule. Maybe a word count goal if I feel up to it. This "system" has worked for me. Until now.
Recently, I decided to change the system. I tried outlining. That was a Epic Fail of national proportions. I actually did some character sketches of the characters BEFORE I started writing. That was a mild success, one I'm not counting quite yet.
I did this for a couple of reasons. The first was to somehow try to reduce the amount of editing and / or rewriting I usually go through upon completion of a novel. I kept thinking that there had to be a better way to do it. And maybe there is.
For you. For your brother. For the best-selling authors.
But for me? I can't sweat the small stuff when writing a first draft. I just can't. I was so consumed with getting every little detail right, making sure I knew exactly who the people were, what the story was, that I couldn't do anything. I couldn't write a single word. The voices disappeared. So I abandoned my OCD, I gave up trying to figure out the "small stuff". Those details have always come later, and I'm more stymied now than I was when I wrote an "empty" first draft and then filled it up later.
So, I'm interested. Do you sweat the small stuff before actually sitting down to write? Or are those details revealed slowly as you go (like me)? How much rewriting / editing do you have to complete after a first draft?
Basically, how Monk are you?