Skip to main content

Too Many Book Ideas

Every time I venture outside, a new story comes to mind. When I read the news or am told of a major event, BAM! new story idea. When I’m listening to a song, here comes a new idea. Even when I see a cool-looking tree, a new story idea pops into my head! . . .okay, that last one might be just a little bit of an exaggeration, but I think you get the point. For me, the problem with writing stories isn’t that I can’t come up with an idea, the problem is that I have WAY too many ideas in my head and I can’t narrow them down. Do you have this problem? Do you ever find yourself wondering “How on earth can I choose the right idea out of so many millions?” Well, if you do, I might be able to help you with that. This is my process for when I’m having troubles with choosing the right story.
To start out, I try writing an outline down. If I know that I’m not going to forget my new story, then I find myself less likely to feel bad about cutting it for now. Sometimes, I try to write all of the stories I have in my head right when I get them, and when I do, I find that more than half of them never get finished. A perfectly good story gone to waste. If you have the same problem, your stories simply sitting, written only half-way, try just writing an outline of your idea. Save it for later, just like it’s the last of your favorite flavor of cookie, and you know you’ll want it later on.
Once I’ve written them down, I usually narrow them all down to three of my favorites. I read over each of them again and again, so I can really get to know the basics of the story. After I’ve finished with that, I write down my favorite aspects of each of the stories. Try not to forget to add in even the smallest of details, whether you think it’s significant or not. It could be something as simple as “I like the main character’s name” or “I like that she/he has blue eyes”. 
I then walk away from the paper for an hour or so, and completely get my mind off of the different ideas. Try playing a board game, reading a book, or writing a little more of another story you’ve been working on. Once that hour or so is up, go back to the stories and read through everything you’ve written down once more. Now, out of the three, which is your least favorite? Discard that one. Out of the two, which one stands out most and seems the most exciting? Not only that, but which do you think would be the most fun to write? Discard the one you like the least, or had the least side-notes, if you can’t decide.
Now you should have your one story. Tada! That simple. Remember, just because you’ve discarded the other few for now, doesn’t mean that they have to be gone forever. Just tuck them away in a folder or somewhere you’ll remember them for safe-keeping. Then, once you’ve finished with the story you’re writing, go back and go through the process again. This helps with making sure you don’t have tons of unfinished stories in your Dropbox, and it also helps with narrowing down your stories.
I hope that this has been helpful to any writers reading this who have the same trouble that I do. It isn’t easy to choose what to write if you have a bunch of ideas, but having a process that you stick to is a great way to help you get out of those annoying situations.
Do you have any techniques like this that help you narrow things down? If so, don’t be afraid to tell me in the comments below! I’d love to know all about it, and maybe even use your process myself sometime!


Popular posts from this blog

Things I've Learned from Watching My Mom and Dad

I've learned a lot from watching my Mom and Dad's marriage. It's led me to know what I want to look for in a marriage, eventually, when I'm older, if I ever DO get married. Their marriage helps me know what a marriage is really about, and I couldn't thank them more for that.

You see, a lot of girls my age dream about marrying the perfect guy. Living in the perfect house. Having a lot of money and clothes and having a happy family and good, stable jobs. I'm not saying that that's a bad thing, but I think it's a bit unrealistic. It's not impossible, I suppose (other than the perfect guy, thing. Nobody's perfect! *Hannah Montana song now stuck in my head forever*), but in order to have all those things, you need to have a few others.

So, here's what I want for my future, if I ever get married.

Jesus. Not every marriage has Jesus, and a lot of them do okay without Him. But it's a lot harder, I think. Without Jesus, who do you have as your role …

Girl Talk: Makeup

I recently got my first tube of lipstick. I was very excited, as I see makeup the same was as I see colored pencils - it's nowhere close to easy, but the process is enjoyable and fun, and it usually turns out pretty in the end (unless I totally mess up and have to start all over). The lipstick I got is a brighter color than I thought it was going to be, but I like it all the same.

My little sister doesn't seem too thrilled with the development. Jokingly, she calls it red (although I am CONVINCED it's just a bright/deep pink), and says things like "oh, you don't need it! Why are you wearing it?!" 

Since all of her comments are in jest, I take no offense at them. I play along and I laugh, and I pretend to defend myself as if I really care. But the more she does it, the more I realize that girls have to face this in real life all the time.

People tell you things like "that color's not good on you" or " way too much makeup there, hon." If you…

Book Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

Book: To Kill a Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee

I recently read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee for school and I decided to do a book review on it. So here's a quick description of the story, in case you haven't heard much about it:

 Living in a small town called Maycomb and experiencing the fun of summer and the sufferings of school, a young girl named Scout Finch watches her father Atticus Finch, an attorney, risking everything - his job, reputation and even his life - to prove the innocence of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of a crime he didn't commit. 

The characters - Atticus Finch, Scout Finch, Jem Finch and Calpurnia, as well as others - were well-rounded and had a sense of reality to them that I know as a writer I struggle to create. They spoke, acted and thought like one would think them to, but not in an overdone or annoying way.

I loved the perspective on the story that it had. Written in light of the events of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, it has an …