1. Laura Mae.
    Offline

    Laura Mae. Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    UK

    Idea overload

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Laura Mae., May 9, 2010.

    I've got a huge problem. I have a cast of well-developed, strong characters, but too many different plot ideas, story lines and genres I could create a story from, it's driving me crazy. I want to write a romance, but the amount of different plots and genres that I've had ideas for is stupid. I've had ideas for fantasy, contemporary, suspense, regency/period, war, thriller, family genres, to name a few, I just can't settle on one idea without wanting to change it before I even start writing. Has anyone else had this problem, how did you work it out?
     
  2. Halcyon
    Offline

    Halcyon Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    England
    Hi Laura Mae

    Wow, that is confusing. I'd take a really close look at your cast of characters and try to figure out which genre could best support all of them.

    You also need to look at which particular genres you most enjoy reading, beause it's quite likely that those will be the same genres you most enjoy writing in, and if you tend to read mostly in one genre, then you are likely to have picked up more knowledge of that genre than any other.

    But I'm sure the answer will come to you in a blinding flash when you least expect it! ;)
     
  3. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Take one central plot idea, the one which appeals to you most to build the entire stary around. Add characters and subplot ideas only as needed. Some will come from the hodge-podge of ideas already collected, others may not. Write the story from this reduced, but compatible, collection of ideas. Save the rest for other stories.
     
  4. Manav
    Offline

    Manav Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Imphal, India
    If your characters are 'well-developed' you shouldn't have any problem identifying the type of story/genre they fit in most. Or, at least you should be able to reduce the list of genre to two/three. May be your characters are not as well-developed as you think. But anyway, it is not possible to fully develop the characters before actually writing the story IMO.... I tend to dig deeper into characters as I write and re-write a story. I think you should follow Cogito's advice. I never thought about it before but now that I think of it that's the way I do it..... have a plot, and then create characters to suit it. No, all the character development you have done is not a waste..... it'll make it much easier for you to develop new characters.

    Keep writing!
     
  5. KP Williams
    Offline

    KP Williams Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    My place
    Why limit yourself? Write them all, just to see which one you like best. As long as you're not thinking the whole time that whatever you're writing has to be your best work, that should work fine, and you'll be able to find the story you really want to write more easily.

    I have a similar problem. I know the story I want to make into a novel, but there are so many other ideas I want to explore in the same "world" with the same characters. Rather than fuss about which one is best to start with, I just write whatever I feel like writing at the time.
     
  6. sufcboy
    Offline

    sufcboy New Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southend, Essex UK
    Get Organised

    OK I'm a web developer so excuse the 'spock' like logical approach but this may help you.

    Write each and every character on a seperate piece of paper. Organise the characters into lists so that each list contains a group of characters that would work great together in your story. If nothing else your imagination will get going!

    Repeat this for all of your different plot lines. At the end of this exercise you mind will be buzzing and you should have a clearer idea of how the characters could be linked and which plot lines would suit the characters?

    Let me know if this works for you? I've not tried this myself but the concept is quite common.

    Good Luck :)
     
  7. ♥Underground Author♥
    Offline

    ♥Underground Author♥ New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    First off you need to know what the theme of your story it. Friendship, Overcoming hard obsticles, etc. Where do you want to go with the story, and are their any conflict in between that will get in the way. I often deal with your problem, but what I do is I write those ideas down and set them to the side to write another story with the extra ideas. Its most likely happening because you are getting ideas from television or different stories. Take it easy. :)
     
  8. Smithy
    Offline

    Smithy Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    0
    First pick which of your wide cast is the central character, or possibly characters if this is to a romance in whatever genre. Then look at what character journey makes the most sense for them to undertake, and then you should be able to choose which setting is the most suitable to house his/her/their character arc.
     
  9. Gingerbiscuit
    Offline

    Gingerbiscuit Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    150
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Melton Mowbray in Merry old England
    The only thing I would like to add to what's already been said is don't spend too much time choosing a genre - let the genre choose itself! If your storyline is a romantic one, it'll become a romance. If your setting is on the third moon of Tribis VII then it'll become a science fiction.

    Which genre your story falls into is something that you really don't want to be worrying about. When you're asking yourself "would my MC really do something like that?" or "would the sky really look like that at that time of day?" you don't want to have to answer questions like "Is this story fantasy enough or should I throw in an Elvish mage?"

    Let the story define the genre, don't let the genre define your story!
     
  10. Mila
    Offline

    Mila Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Newcastle, UK
    I have this problem ! I started off with one simple idea, then before I knew it, it had grown tentacles and cockroached off into the shadows. I ended up dropping the original tale and reining in one of the 'roaches.
     
  11. Mantha Hendrix
    Offline

    Mantha Hendrix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Northern Ireland... the place I've taken for grant
    Writing it all down can be very useful, I'm an organized writer... this limits some things, but in the long term it can be quite beneficial...

    Write it all down then you can work on one plot line with the knowledge you could revisit others later without forgetting the little details.
     
  12. Anonym
    Offline

    Anonym Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2010
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    10
    I'd argue that characters are only well-developed in reference to the story, but that's debatable I suppose.
    I agree w/ Cog: If you don't even have a central plot pick the direction that is most compelling and salient to you and build off it. If you wanted to satisfy the exploratory side of you, you could maybe write a couple a outlines of spin-offs of your story in a different genre or sumthin. Try **** out, see what works.
     

Share This Page