How long do you brew?

A poem or a song I begin immediately though it may take me a few hours to a few days or even weeks to complete.

A business plan or invention I begin immediately but it may take me a few days or weeks or even months to write up and complete.

A short story or novel I will begin immediately but it may take me a few weeks or months or even years or a decade or more (in a coupla cases with my novels – depends on how involved it is) to complete.

Whenever I complete something it feels like I’ve worked out really hard and then eaten a big meal. Until then I just feel hungry.

I stew, brew, and brood on whatever it is the entire time I’m working.

Papermashed

Seriously, I’m interested in seeing the differences out there. How long do writers brew, or rather stew on an idea before they begin writing it down? How long do you normally take? A couple of days, a few weeks, months maybe, or even years?
I normally take weeks if they are novels, and a day or less if they are short stories, poems etc. I take a couple of days for short scripts and a couple of months for features. The longest I’ve sat on a story before starting to write it is a few months.
In those months, what do you do? Do you plot the whole affair from beginning to end, or just major story arcs? Do you figure out your characters?
I find that I usually focus on story arcs and character profiles, but in saying that I don’t set these as immovable before I write them…

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