Today’s Ask Inkitt Question: I’m ready to start a new story and I have a lot of ideas. How do I choose which one to write next?
That’s a great question! Starting a new project is exciting. The blank page is full of potential, but you still have to choose which story idea to invest in next. Here are a few tips to help you decide…
The new project idea is big enough for a whole book.
I don’t know about you, but my brain is constantly creating scenes. Sometimes they’re just random bits of action, but sometimes a scene feels like, if I fleshed it out, there’d be a bigger story. If you can give the seed of an idea some time and energy, and the story arc continues to expand in your mind, you’re probably on to something.
The characters won’t stop talking to you!
We writers aren’t afraid of those voices in our heads. In fact, we count on them to keep talking to us. If a character is really loud and compelling, they’re probably worthy of being featured in your next story.
Imagine how it will end.
You don’t have to know exactly how a story will end, but you may want to know you can complete the arc in a satisfying manner. If you figure out the main conflict of the story and the general direction you want to take to resolve it, you’ll have a good framework on which to build the rest.
Understand the genre.
If you are feeling inspired to write in a new genre, that’s fantastic. Just be sure to do your homework. Check out this Ask Inkitt article for tips on writing in a new genre.
Okay, so you’ve got enough of an idea to run with it. What should you do next? Here are a few practical ideas to get you started…
Work out a rough outline. I am a big believer that a little planning goes a long way. You don’t have to outline everything, but spend enough time with the concept so that when you start writing, you have a roadmap. Not convinced? Check out my article: The Case for Plotters.
Flesh out the main cast of characters. Remember those characters who just won’t shut up? Give them some love – in the form of history, background, and personality. Think about your protagonist and what they want. Who stands in their way? Why? You don’t need to go deep into their psyche yet, but you need enough to become connected to them.
Immerse yourself in this new world. As a science fiction writer, this is pretty important for my work. I have to start imagining this new world, the rules of magic or technology, etc. But even if you’re setting something on planet earth, you’ll still have to get into your character’s world. What does their day to day life look like? Do they live in the city or countryside? When does the story take place?
Once you’ve pre-worked your story a little bit, you’ll be ready to go! Good luck and thanks for the great question.