Yep. I’ve been there too. All those ideas for awesome books and every single one so good that you want to write it right then and there.
Actually I still haven’t gotten over it but this is beside the point.
What I’m saying, is that us writers always have new ideas popping into our heads, and a lot of times all those new ideas look more sparkly and fun to work on than the seven work in progress novels we have sitting in our desk drawer waiting to be continued.
What are we to do? Well, here are a few tips.
1: If You Work on All of Them, You Won’t Get Any Done
If you keep jumping from one project to the next, excited about one, writing five chapters, getting to a slow point in the book, and starting on the next project, you’ll never ever actually complete one. In a few months you won’t have a solid first or second draft. You’ll just have ten documents of partly written books that are now so confusing that you don’t want to open any of them back up and work on it.
What a pickle, huh?
So what you need to do is pick one and write the whole first draft before you are drawn into another story. It’s not bad to leave a first draft alone for a little while and write another. That’s not to say that you should just dump the first draft into a drawer and say “OH! Look at me! I finished the book!” forget about it, and run off to write another first draft. You need to edit it one day, but like I said, you don’t have to work on a book all the way to publication without working on another project.
“Wait!” you are probably saying. “I get what you mean about finishing a project to a least a certain point, but what does this have to do with dealing with all the new stories popping into my head? If I wait, I’ll probably forget them all!”
Well, that leads us into tip number two.
2: Write ’em Down
You heard it. If you get a cool story idea, write the plot down, and keep it in a place where you can come back later and find it again. Then when you decide you are ready to work on a new project, you can go back and sift through all your cool ideas and pick one to work on! How fun!
But then there’s another problem.
What if you come back to look at your ideas, and they all look dull? In the time you’ve waited to finish your first project, all the ideas have lost their sparkle and shine?
Okay, this can be explained by two things.
First, your story was actually not a very good idea and after writing the plot and putting it in the story place for later you have come to realize it, or two, it just feels boring because it isn’t fresh anymore or you haven’t been constantly thinking about it and working to make it better.
For number one, I’m sorry I can’t help
throw it in the trash and forget about it. Or you could put it back in the story place and maybe when you come back to it again you’ll figure out a way to make it better.
For two though, this is what you need to do…
3: Keep the Excitement Alive
Don’t stop thinking about your idea! Don’t shove it completely away!
“Um…Caleb? You’re starting to contradict yourself now.”
Heh heh…no. See, I’m not saying write the actual book. That would be contradicting what I just said above. What I am saying, is that you can still be fleshing it out. You can be writing one story and write some short snippets of the other one, or character bios, or the outline of it, or draw the characters, maybe write a short story with the characters in it.
You probably shouldn’t be writing two novels at the same time, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be fleshing out the story and the characters of the other one. Then when you actually come to write the story, you’ll already have the characters well planned, some snippets and outlines to work with, and the excitement you need to get through it!
So what about you? Do you have a bunch of ideas that you can’t seem to ignore? Do you always have ideas popping into your head for new stories? I certainly do!
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