I have multiple story ideas bouncing around in my head, fairly well thought out even, but I’m not sure which one I should start with… I’m excited for all of them, and I want to dig deeper into them, but I don’t know which one to start with…
I see a couple possible suggestions. First, you could try developing all of them. Take a day or two apiece to flesh them out and “test” them. Once you’ve done that, you might have a better idea of which ones excite you and which ones you don’t think will go the distance. (plus, once you finish one project, you’ll have pretty detailed ideas on a new project…)
Second, you could try to narrow it down in a different way. What themes or aesthetics are really grabbing you right now? e.g. “family” or “a world full of danger” or “optimistic and upbeat”. Then think about which story ideas fit that the best, and focus on those.
(Third bonus suggestion: can you combine any of your story ideas?)
Hmm, okay thanks!
(Not really it wouldn’t make any sense, lol.)
I usually try to trick my subconciousness into telling me what project really is The One - i toss a coin or roll a disc (depend on how many choices there are) and before i check it i usually know what story i wished to win, or when i check the result and feel disappointed that this story won and not the other. I know that are cheap tricks but it works well for me before NaNo.
Another cheap trick i’m using often is to start with the shortest. With a bit of luck by the time you finish it you’ll still be excited for the other ones. (Well, that doesn’t sound hopeful but hey, maybe you have longer excitment period than me ).
I do this all the time! My husband is a chronic can’t-decider so I give him the same option and it works almost every time. Or I said “Okay I’m going to decide for you. You’re getting this.” It always ends up highlighting what he didnt realize he knew he wanted.
Those are great ideas. Thanks! (Edit: Thanks everyone! I’ve got some writing done now and I’m going to keep at it!)
Okay, I’ll just add this in here because it’s the same story but a different problem. I’m going to maybe sound crazy for a second… But, ah… I can’t stop rhyming. I am not writing poetry at all and yet I keep rhyming part way through my writing. Any suggestions on how to stop rhyming?
Stop reading Dr. Seuss before bed?
But seriously, do read something with the same general style and tone you’re going for. If you’re rhyming because you have an earworm, find the song on YouTube and listen to the whole thing, right to the end. That should get rid of it.
Lol, I have no clue why but I have a constant tendency to rhyme for no reason. I’ll try the Youtube thing. Thanks! (Edit: And now I just had a group of three baby ducks literally run right up to me… If I burst into song next someone needs to call Walt Disney up.) (Edit 2: Okay… This us the fourth time the ducks have come back and I swear I didn’t feed them. Why do they like me so much?)
I have to say that the epic I’m working on started out with one plot line and then I found another that I started working on and yet a third. My boyfriend got tired of me trying to figure out which one to work on and he helped find the way to tie all of them together and then he handed me a fourth line to work in. It has definitely made the whole thing far more interesting. I’m working on the primary line now but I have bits started for all the other stuff too. I can bounce around to them anytime I want to.
That sounds awesome! Sadly mine take place in completely different worlds almost so I’m not sure how I could pull off combining them all. I think my biggest problem as a writer is the fact that I have too many stories to tell. Technically I have over fifty books I’m still working on writing. I can’t stick to just one of them because I get new ideas that I get really excited for half way through my books.
I wrote this earlier, but I was restricted from posting it because I reached my post limit for the day, so others have addressed this, but…
That’s a good problem to have! And there’s no rule against working on multiple projects at the same time. I actually find this very helpful–when I get stuck on one project, I move to the next. Then, when I have an answer, I bounce back.
You can also try writing each of them and see which one flows the best. I have projects for which I’m very excited, but they’re not yet ready to be written. Sometimes I have to write a little bit of them to figure that out!
Regarding the rhyming, all of that can be changed in later drafts. First drafts are never finished drafts, and that’s okay. It’s just about getting the story down.
Same, I’m constantly bouncing all over the place story wise. I started writing one out a bit and it looks like it’s going okay, besides the rhyming that is. Lol.
I understand that. The fun part about all of this is that part of the stories take place in our solar system and part take place in a large galaxy light years away from here. It is a galaxy run by a High King and several different councils for different aspects of life in the system. I have fun creating races and worlds to work with. But only little bits here and there.
Ooh, sounds really cool. Kind of like a Marvel Universe or something. I’ve accidentally tied in a few of my other books… One I thought was a stand alone but then I realized I had accidentally wrote in a character from a completely different book and I kind of just went with it. People get confused when i talk about my books and mention WW4. They always ask about WW3 and that’s just a whole other book, lol.
I understand that. I tell people that I’m writing an epic story and they look at me like, “What do you mean by that?” So of course then I have to explain it to them as if I’m comparing myself to people like Tolkien or Frank Herbert. Of course those were the inspiration. But anyway. The whole thing starts in our solar system on Earth. Beyond that it travels through a wormhole and into a whole different galaxy.
Wormhole! Yeah, I just begin telling people stuff that’s going in the book and half way through I just pause like: “This probably all sounds slightly insane and really weird… You need to read it for it to make sense. I’m sorry for speaking gibberish at you.” The first book I ever wrote takes place in another world that you travel to by reading a book. It almost got destroyed, survived, got destroyed, and… then I rebuilt it, lol.
I do this as well. With more decisions really. Usually you know what you want deep down, but the fear of making the wrong decision is real. This tends to help me figure it out. The feeling of knee-jerk disappointment can be rather visceral. So it’s usually pretty obvious if you got the “right” choice.
That’s my problem, honestly. I have lots of half-finished projects mostly because of my three jobs (two of which involve church music which is super involved/lots more work than people think it is). Anyway, I usually chose which idea I work on based on which one I can make a rough timeline of the beginning, middle, and end of the story. If I don’t have any one of those three parts I know I’ll hit writers block.
I can totally relate. I wasted 6 years of my life with “shiny new story” syndrome. When I reached the middle of my book I despaired about how bad it was and picked up a new book that “didn’t have the same fatal flaws”. But when I got to the middle of that book, I had the same problem. I finally got some wonderful advice from my writing group and was able to move beyond it!!