I hope you’re having a good week. I’ve been a little plague-y this week, but hopefully I’m at the end of this crud ;o)
Many writers have many ideas.
Stating the obvious again, Erica? Real original. I know. I know. Stick with me it gets better…
So sometimes these ideas manifest into actual books. Some into half books, some simply stay ideas.
But how do you know which to write? And when? What does it take to prioritize the ideas in your head and finally get something on paper? For some there isn’t a system. Maybe you just write in order of the ideas that come. Maybe you work in a series format and need to write the next in the series. Maybe you throw a dart at the wall of ideas and it chooses for you. Whatever you do, my guess is it works. It’s what you feel comfortable with. But for those who don’t always know, I’ll share what works for me.
7 ways to prioritize your story ideas
- If the new idea is all you can think about? Write it! This means something. Best time to strike is when you have nothing but ideas and they’re all about the same concept!
- If there’s a deadline involved. Yeah, some writers have deadlines. This makes the decision pretty easy. I would think…
- If you have knowledge about the subject. If you already know what the story is about and there is only a small need for extensive research? Maybe you can crank that one out pretty quick.
- If you have an emotional connection to the idea. This is what always works for me. If there’s emotion behind it your future readers will see that in your writing. Best to write that one now!
- If you know the idea is hot right now. Editors are clamoring for it. Yeah, I would write this as fast as I can. I’m not saying to write to trends, but if you already have an idea and you think it’s hot. That wins for me.
- Or maybe the new idea is just easier for you to write right now. Sometimes when you feel like you’re forcing yourself to write something it’s best to step away and write something else. Or maybe even take a break and read a book.
- If someone you know is excited about the idea too. You’d be amazed how often this plays into what I’m writing. I suspect we’re all kind of like that. If an agent/Beta/CP is waiting for it? That’s a great sign and good motivation!
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Wow. It’s been a while. I sure hope you are all doing well! I’m knee-deep in NaNo Feva. So far it’s going really well. I just made it over 21K! AND with the help of my uber-awesome CP, Brenda Drake I finally know where this story is going. BONUS!
When plotting for said NaNo idea I started to think about High Concept ideas/premises since my current NaNo and my last year’s NaNo are those types of ideas.
So what is a high concept idea?
High concept narratives are typically characterized by an over-arching “what if?” scenario that acts as a catalyst for the following events. Often, the most popular summer blockbuster movies are built on a high concept idea, such as “what if we could clone dinosaurs?” (Jurassic Park), and so on.
Side note: I love INCEPTION. Still. Yes, I know it’s old news, but talk about high concept. Damn.
Personally, I’m drawn to writing these ideas. There’s something about taking that what-if scenario and putting your own spin to it. High concept premises make me think, they challenge my beliefs and what I perceive to be true. I have to admit I’m drawn to reading these types of books, too.
That’s not to say that I don’t enjoy non high-concept books. I LOVE a good contemporary. In fact, many of my favorite books are contemporary romance (Anna and the French Kiss, anyone?). A well-executed idea sells me every time — high concept or not. That, and hot boys. LOL
Although, high concept ideas are big and exciting, done poorly they can be a nightmare. I’ve found (in my limited vision of what this is) that a CRAP-TON of research needs to be done in these books. In order to build a new idea/premise or spin-off one, you need to know what you’re talking about. You can make up everything you want, but it needs to be believable. There’s nothing worse than a high concept idea that fails to execute. What a waste.
Also, there is usually a lot of world-building and action and twists. Not the easiest thing to come up with, but really the only limitation is your imagination.
So, what can stimulate these ideas?
Watch Documentaries – science, history whatever works. You’d be amazed how much you can pick up. Both my NaNo’s have come from documentaries. Yeah, for real.
Google the Idea – I usually come up with others from that. For example, if you’re writing about something having to do with space. You google space, and you find out there’s a moon by Saturn that has characteristics of Earth, or did at some point… hmmm. What if?
Ask Your Friends or Strangers – No, really. My husband knows a lot (too much most of the time, if you know what I mean… LOL) he watches and reads about some interesting stuff. ALSO, last night I was working at a women’s expo for work and got in a conversation with a cinematographer about stem cells. I learned a lot. Who knew?
Read Books About the Subject You’re Researching – There is always someone who has written some version of your high concept idea. It may not be the exact idea, but rest assured, the world is big and the odds that no one else has written it, is as slim as a hollywood actress.
What do you think of high concepts? Do you write them yourself? Do you like reading them?
Have a great week!!!!
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So. I’ve been revising *ahem* rewriting my WIP (the one from last NaNo) almost there, only a few more chapters (sure, Ha). I’ve come to realize that I may not query this story anytime soon or ever, and that’s okay. Maybe I’ll come back to it when I’m a better writer so I can give it the attention and good writing it deserves ;o)
I’ve most certainly found my weaknesses in writing novels. If you’re curious, it’s movements (he walked, he looked, lifted his hand to…,) descriptions, scenery, world building. I do have some strengths too, dialogue, plot, pacing… so I think I need to read some more books with my weaknesses. I’ve been reading Cassandra Clare’s books (OMG I love her books) and that has helped a bit since she is really great at making me feel like I’m there. If you haven’t read any of her books, go now. Seriously. Her characters are totally swoonworthy.
I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year (Yay!) since I had a great time doing it last year, and frankly, I need to write something new. I’m kinda goin’ wonky over here… LOL
Pss. I’m EriCanWrite over there, in case you wanna buddy up ;o)
I wanted to share my idea for NaNo this year. Keep in mind, this is very rough, as nothing has been written yet ;o)
It’s 2025 and the government has perfected the criminal brain scan system. If you’re brain passes the sociopath test (as it is commonly referred to) you are sent to The Haven, if you don’t, even before you kill or harm anyone you are sent to The Desolate.
Amara and Shane, lifelong friends were born after the system. They both get scanned and one goes to Desolate and the other Haven. Separated by false accusations and lies, Amara sets out to find Shane.
Amara knows there’s a chink in the system’s armor. They made a terrible mistake. And she’s going to find out how to fix it. Can they find each other before time runs out and the system takes out one of them forever?
Are you doing NaNo this year? What’cha workin’ on? Have a great rest of the week!
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I am sorry, I know you’re just dying to hear what I’ve been doing with my time. [insert sarcastic comment].
Well, the truth?
Not much. I mean not much writing wise. I’ve started exercising and getting to know our new pooch Freddie, but I’ve been a bad writer. LOL
Okay, maybe not that bad, I’ve been Beta-ing for a close friend. Which is great. Her story is fabulous, so it’s a nice break from NOT revising. Just call me Ms. Procrastination.
I digress. The point please Ms. Procrastination. Okay, Being away from my WIP has given me some great ideas – new stuff for a new story and new ideas for my current one. So really, it’s been a great break.
Wanna hear about my new story idea? Aw, come on… Welp, this idea came because I was watching American Idol – yeah I know- sue me. I was singing a song – Like ya do. And I thought – I want to be in a band. Yeah, I know at my age – I mean I’m *cough* year’s old. Then “ding ding,” *insert light-bulb – only the good kind that lasts forever – what are they called? Energy Efficient or something.* I don’t really have to join a band (even though that would be like the coolest thing ever) I could write about joining one, or about how a daughter deals with a mom that joined one. Then the ideas came flying all the possibilities.
So, that’s what I’ve been doing. Exciting huh? Oh I’ve been trying to get over this darn pink eye too, and trying to bowl. Key word “trying.”
So any new ideas you want to share, have the ideas been spinning for you or are you at a stop? Are you watching AI this year? I have to admit it’s not as good as some of the other years, but I do have some favorites… Siobhan rocks. So does Crystal ;o)
See ya on Friday for the featured blog – It’s going to be a surprise – in truth – I haven’t picked it yet…LOL Remember, Ms. Procrastination…
Anyhoo, have a great rest of the week folks!
image courtesy of eugenecho.files.wordpress.com/