The inspiration for a new story idea can hit you everywhere. You can be in the shower, on a walk or in the middle of a conversation with someone. What is hardest is to choose, which of your ideas you actually dedicate the time to turn it into a story. In this part of the writing guide we talk about how you find out, which idea is the right one to focus on.
Create a List of Ideas
When inspiration hits you the first thing to do is writing it down as soon as possible. This can be in your phone, a notebook or even just some random papers. Make sure you take a note somewhere, so you don´t forget your brilliant idea. When you collected a couple of different ideas, it can be helpful to create an idea-list.
Outline Your Ideas
Now that you got a list of ideas, I recommend you to outline your idea. If you are a plotter this will be easy for you. Don´t worry if you are a pantser as me, you don´t need to outline your hole book idea! It´s enough to write down some basics and create a short story pitch.
Write A Scene
Even if you haven´t figured out the main characters or the story line yet, it can help to write down a scene that you have in your head. This gives you an idea of the tone and mood of the story. It doens´t need to be the first chapter, nor does the scene actually have to end up in your manuscript later. It´s just a tool to understand your story idea. It might be a conflict, a dialog or love scene what ever inspires you and feels right to the story idea. For me personally those little scenes often turn into major key chapters. If your fingers are literally tingling and you don’t want to stop writing, it´s a good sign that you’ve found an idea that interests you enough to turn it into a story. At this point you might already realize, that you sit longer on one of the ideas as it interests you the most.
Rank Your Ideas
Once you defined your ideas, created a pitch and maybe even wrote some short scenes, but still don’t know, which story you want to write next, it´s time for a ranking. You could rank the ideas with stars. Think about some critics by which you want to valuate the ideas. Write down the reasons, why you want to write each of the story ideas. Is it a special topic, that you feel personally attached to? Is the genre you want to write in a mix of two existing ones and you feel like you could create a new trend? Or can you just not stop thinking about this idea? All these and more can be indicators, that you have your special idea right in front of you. Even though in the beginning you might find all your ideas interesting, there will be one, your gut feeling leads you to.
Choose Fun Over Trends
Go for the idea that excites you the most, not the one you think you will find most readers for. You will sit month or maybe even yours on a writing project. You don´t want to waste your time over an idea you might loose interest in halfway through. Only when you are really enthusiastic for your idea, you will make it to the end.
Enjoy The Flow
Getting into the writing flow is the best feeling. Don´t worry, if you don´t get that feeling right away. Sometimes you will need time to get to that point. When inspiration hits you and you suddenly have a scene in front of your eye, want to write down quotes or create a story board and really want to start writing – then it´s a good signs that you’ve found the right idea.
I wish you all the best with your ideas! What helps you to choose between your idea? If you have tips for the other readers, feel free to write them in the comments,