When stuck with writer’s block and self-doubt, writers have a tendency to worry that their idea well has run dry. I’ve been there, it sucks, and the only way through is to keep trying.
But what about when I have too many ideas? How do I choose?
This is a little bit trickier because I may be evaluating ideas on their ability to sell. I may also be comparing it to current market comps. Or, bouncing idea after idea off of a trusted critique buddy. In other words, worrying too much about what’s going on outside my realm of control.
For me, the best thing to do is sit down and write a chapter or three of each to see if I like how they feel. It’s the Goldilocks Syndrome – is one too all-over the place; does it lack a plot; does writing it feel forced? In other words, I pants the first few chapters of each idea just to see where they go.
Another thing I do is sit down and write a one to three line elevator pitch and a query for each idea. If I can’t sum up a book, then I most likely have a problem. At this step, I often revise quite a bit, asking my CPs for feedback, until I get a solid query. From there, I can often flesh out a light synopsis.
But if I’m struggling with any of these, no matter how awesome the story sounds, I set it aside and work on something else. Something I feel passion for and am willing to put in the work to make it shiny, unique, and solid – which often means several drafts and edits.
Having too many ideas can be just as frustrating as not having any, but if I attack them methodically I’m often able to narrow down my choices to THE BOOK.