1. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Arrrgh! Too many ideas!

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Garball, Jun 11, 2013.

    I just jotted down a 4k word synopsis on another story I want to write. My idea stream is high on the levees, threatening to spill over. I am not complaining; I love brainstorming new ideas, but I hate not being able to concentrate on one. As my second novel gets underway, other eggs in the nest keep hatching. I am anxious that if they don't all get equal amounts of attention, they will starve and die.

    How do you keep your ideas alive while giving most of your attention to just one (who may not even be your favorite at the time)? Is there a cryogenics capsule for baby ideas so I can just thaw them out later on?
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    The easiest way I've found is keep all my as yet unused ideas in files within files on my computer. I write any ideas I have on whatever I can, then write them in Word and save them. Only recently I have done this (three months or so) but it is the best way for me, at least. Try it and see if this is the best way for you, too.

    As for having too many ideas, some can be merged with others, as I am doing with an upcoming fantasy novel of mine - my old and even older ideas link together as I see fit. Just because you may write a certain down with a specific genre in mind, months or even years later you may find the idea better used in a different genre. As long as you write down all your ideas, you won't be afraid of sticking to one book, as you can come back to your ideas anytime you like, either through notebooks or a computer.

    And remember, having lots of ideas means even if you stop having them forever, you'll have enough stuff to write books for the rest of your life! ;)

    Hope this is of some use. :)
     
  3. sierraromeobravo
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    sierraromeobravo Member

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    I have a file titled "Ideas" on my coputer like Thomas Kitchen has. It's full of uncompleted stories and ideas. Always write them down though. I hate thinking of an idea, telling myself that I'll write it down later and then go to write it down later and i've lost it completely. I always carry my notebook with me now.
     
  4. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    The problem is not writing the ideas down. Like y'all, I have a folder on my computer with all of the ideas. The frustration comes from wanting to play with not being able to concentrate on just one. This morning, I should have been finishing a scene where a young girl gets mutilated by a horrible monster. Instead, I'm writing chapter lengths about a cosmic gardener tending to the universe
     
  5. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not sure your problem is one of forgetting ideas - it's concentrating on one.
     
  6. SilverRose
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    SilverRose New Member

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    I used to be in a really similar predicament, but what helped me was to realize that if I couldn't leave the "rabbit-trail" story idea alone and still get excited about it once I got back to it, then it wouldn't be worth writing. I had to decide that it's more important for me to finish one good idea than to start five good ideas.

    I'm glad I did that, because I just finished my first novel and now can look at my other ideas with fresh eyes-- and I'm finding that my creative process is more excited than ever. Actually writing the book doesn't seem to use the same creative process as brainstorming, so the brainstorming function seems to be especially potent after not being used for a few months.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Like everybody else, I have computer files and paper notebooks full of ideas. I had to come to the realization that I was simply not going to live long enough to write all of them - not even a tenth of them. And new ones are coming along all the time.

    If you're anything like me, then at some point you are going to have to sacrifice ideas. Many will die so that one may live, so to speak. Given the amount of time it takes to turn an idea into a novel, you're going to have to settle on your best idea and finish that even if it means letting other ideas starve.
     
  8. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    keep write as much of the ideas as you see fit, then save them somewhere, whether it be in a lever arch file of a digital file in the sky (online storage places are pretty nifty if you wanna save space on your computer!)
     
  9. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    I think of at least one book a month -and one was a very interesting new depiction of a vampire (or Veekrine as i will call them) story. And as i am sure many other have mentioned above -make a file for each book and write down a brief summary of your ideas for that story so you won't forget. You can always come back later if they are still amazing in your mind, but some others will die out. It's not a bad thing -it helps you figure out which ones will be able to take on the world.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Write a scene for each idea maybe - the one that captures you most, you'll end up writing more of. And then in a few years' time, you'll come back to the old, discarded scenes and remember "Hey that was a really awesome idea!" and your inspiration and fervour will come back.
     
  11. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Every idea I get is noted in my phone, if I have it handy. Then, when I get home, I create a new notebook for ideas, if they seem worthy of it. At first, I use a small notebook, and jot down random things. I save ten pages between each set of ideas, in case they come back. As soon as an idea starts to take off, I switch to a 3 ring binder, and place anything in there. Sometimes I'll go back and look over the notebook, or the phone, and see small nuggets, and either they'll jolt back, or nothing will come from them.
     
  12. maskedhero
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    maskedhero Active Member

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    Ah...just saw how you can't seem to focus on that idea. A good solution for that is to just go with the idea that is moving you. Write down what comes from it, and see where it goes. Unless you're being paid to finish a novel about the mutilation (egads), that sounds like a plan. If you're on a time scale though, you may be in trouble.

    Our creative minds go where they wish. You can try and direct it somewhere, but don't deny it on its journey to somewhere more interesting. There may be a reason you find yourself doing that instead.
     
  13. pinelopikappa
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    pinelopikappa Senior Member

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    Aren't there ways to deal with that sort of resistence? Write down that scene that haunts you, and then go back to the piece you are working on. Keep your ideas in files of some sort and go back to them in time.

    I wish I had that problem, by the way.
     
  14. Razr
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    Razr New Member

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    I know exactly how you feel.I'm currently a book but bursting with ideas of about 3 or 4 other books.what I've done is just dotted down a synopsis on each of these so as not to forget the core idea when I finally get round to writing them.of course sometimes,I wish I hand four brains & eight hands so I could write all of them simultaneously.unfortunately,there's no such luck so you just have to be disciplined & stick to the story ur currently working on or risk writing something that will end up confusing the reader and may even take u longer than usual because ur trying to fit in ideas that may not be necessary.
    hope this helps:cool:
     
  15. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    If I get a new idea I write it down on a pad of paper then I add it to the to a drawer in my file cabinet titled "Stories to be written" That way the story idea is out my system and I am able continue writing my current project and when the current project is done I can go into my file cabinet and open the drawer with the stories that I have to write pick one out and start writing it.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Garball, print out your initial post in this thread an keep it in a safe place. Then when you think you have writer's block someday, dig out that printout from its hiding place and read it as a different perspective.
     
  17. djunamod
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    djunamod New Member

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    When I get a new idea for a novel, I open up a new Word document, get some notes down, and then save it in a file called "Story Ideas". When I finish one novel, I look through the file for a new project.

    Rereading the notes usually gets me excited again. Of course, I'm developing the characters and story when I begin to write it, but it's nice to have a backlog of ideas.

    To me, it's not about having a burning passion for a specific novel idea right at that time (i.e., "striking while the iron is hot"). It's about taking an idea through from beginning to end and enjoying the process.

    Djuna
     
  18. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I agree that writing them down and setting them aside is best. Some ideas will not make the final cut and that's alright. If you don't feel strongly about it after a time then it wasn't a good idea. You don't want to write a story unless you feel very strongly about telling it.
     

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