great podcasts from the Writing Excuses team. I love doing research and am one of those people who can take an hour to look up something in a dictionary because of distractions that lead down rabbit trails. The internet is even worse: global rabbit trails!
The guest post today over at Kristen Lamb's Blog is all about creating backstory as part of your pre-writing. Piper Bayard gives us license, nay, orders, to backstory the heck out of not just the main characters in our writing but pretty much everybody who walks across the stage and has a line. I can see this as a series of great warm-up sessions, but it's also just a really great way to get your characters and world fully realized. If anybody struggles with plotting like I do, this kind of world-building is going to help a LOT, because the more you know about the people and places of your creation the more naturally events and decisions are going to flow from your fertile imagination.
At any rate, it's another way to play "God", and writers are nothing if not control freaks.