Would you guys say it's pretty normal for something to totally transform between the original idea hitting you, and actually writing stuff?
With my story, what I've actually ended up writing is almost nothing like what I original thought of when I first started the outline a year or two ago. It started out fairly small and simple, but has gotten a bigger and lot more complex as I've gone on.
How important would you say world building is for original speculative fiction? Over the last couple years I've built up a 26 page outline with history, character bios, and info for about half a dozen different races. I admit a lot of this probably won't end up in the story, but I've had a blast building this thing and that's really all I care about right now.