How do you cope with too many ideas?

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How do you cope with too many ideas?

Post by sarahdee » July 18th, 2010, 12:06 am

Novel one is more or less finished. It was final, but then after some feedback I am re-editing. While I wait for feedback I decided to start on novel 2, as I have too many idea floating around up there and I'm worried they might leak out my ears of something :)

Thing is I have four separate and completely different ideas for novel 2. I thought I might spend a few hours on each and see which flowed the best but this didn't work, they are all equal. Whichever doc I open, I can happily start typing on. Obviously I can't complete 4 novels simultaneously yet I can't do any one justice until I decide.

How do you all make this decision? Its not like any of them follow on from Novel 1 - all completely different genres. This is where I need an agent to give me a hard kick up the backside and tell me what to do!

Novel 1 - psychological thriller
Novel 2a - Comedy. Diary style. Travel/sport theme
Novel 2b - Literary fiction. Descriptive, several people vaguely connected
Novel 2c - Mystery. Series of short stories with same character so can be linked in a book
Novel 2d - Urban thriller. Virus, post apocalyptic etc etc...

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Re: How do you cope with too many ideas?

Post by cheekychook » July 18th, 2010, 12:40 am

Wow, that is a very broad range. I would say if you have ideas brewing for all of them write whichever one suits your mood at the moment---feeling quirky and humorous, write a diary entry...feeling devious, open up your mystery doc. I would imagine that once you get to a certain place one of these stories will suck you in more than the others and you'll find yourself working on it and putting the others on the back burners. Or maybe not. Maybe multitasking is the key to keeping you motivated. Roll with it and see where it takes you. Worst that can happen is you have to go back and edit all of them---and, face it, you'd have to do that anyway! (Spoken as someone so deep in the current round of rewrites that her eyes are spinning in circles.)

Seriously, though, sometimes the best way to get perspective on one story is to work on another...or write ANYTHING else (like a message board post...).

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Heather B
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Re: How do you cope with too many ideas?

Post by Heather B » July 18th, 2010, 12:53 am

I currently have 5 protagonists with their own series planned out. I have a book that has 5 different tabs, one for each and I fill out more plot points as I go.
I've done the first book of two of the series and now I'm about to start the second for both of those and the first of another. I don't think it matters if you have a few books on the go as long as you can jump smoothly from one to the other. MY characters are all very different and unique to themselves which means I don't get them mixed up. This helps.

I say just go with it and eventually you'll find your focus leans towards one of them as you draw near the end.
Journey to the Cuckoo's Nest

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Re: How do you cope with too many ideas?

Post by PaulWoodlin » July 18th, 2010, 8:09 am

Make sure novel one is completely finished and start the submission process. That buys your subconscious some time to think about what it really wants to do next.

Then I suggest that you rotate writing them until you realize which one excites you the most. You should be glad to have five projects you're happy to write; it's not as if any of these ideas are going to run away if you don't write them right away. Personally, when someone tells me that they have idea for me to write about, I stop them cold and tell them I'm filled up with my own ideas for three years out.

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Re: How do you cope with too many ideas?

Post by AnimaDictio » July 18th, 2010, 8:43 pm

I'm the same way. My imagination moves faster than my pen. I've resolved to write many of my ideas as short stories in the short term. I can always novelize them later.

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Re: How do you cope with too many ideas?

Post by Nathan Bransford » July 19th, 2010, 11:13 pm

I used to really struggle to get writing done because I'd always be thinking of new ideas for the next project, and a bright and shiny new idea can seem way more exciting than the old, worn idea that you've been struggling with for a long time.

The important thing is to stay true to the idea you really believe in. No new-idea cheating!

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Re: How do you cope with too many ideas?

Post by dios4vida » July 20th, 2010, 12:25 pm

I'll outline any ideas that I have, but I try not to write more than one thing at a time. I currently have five outlines other than my WIP. I find it works well because when I get a random thought that doesn't fit in my WIP chances are it'll slip right into another outline and work perfectly (no idea left behind!). The only time I'll actually write something else is if it's so crystal clear in my head...but then once I get that scene down I go back to my WIP. That way I'm not constantly distracted by things rolling around in the ole brain - get it down, get it out, and move on.

Good luck with all those ideas!
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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