1. Keitsumah
    Offline

    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,279
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Nebraska

    Overflow of Ideas

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Keitsumah, Sep 16, 2013.

    Okay, i know that i am supposed to just get the first novel over with, blah-de-dah-dah, but has anyone here ever had the situation when you thought of one book, or series, and just when you think it ends well enough, you come up with a way to continue it?

    I already have around twenty books in my head (or saved on my computer so i don't forget them) but this particular series i am working on.... well i honestly didn't think i could ever figure out a way to continue the bugger (nor did i feel the need to) -but then inspiration just smacks me in the head!

    Ever had this happen?
     
  2. AnonyMouse
    Offline

    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    337
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    It happens all the time. The sci-fi novel I just finished was intended to be a standalone, but about halfway through it, I decided to make it a trilogy. Meanwhile, I have a completely unrelated project that's been blooming in my head. I think I'll work on that after book two is finished, then come back to the trilogy and write the finale. And there are about three or four other, less developed, projects sitting on the sidelines. I think balancing all these things and choosing which should take priority is all part of being a writer.

    However, don't fall into the trap of thinking an "overflow of ideas" is reason enough to keep dragging a story onward. Some of those ideas might be better off as separate books/ series, instead of pouring them all into one, overbloated, overlong IP. You don't have to kill your darlings, but be mindful not to shoehorn them in where they don't belong.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
  3. Thomas Kitchen
    Offline

    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,258
    Likes Received:
    422
    Location:
    I'm Welsh - and proud!
    I understand. I think it's just because of my love for sequels and/or fictional worlds. For example, with my second novel, it was intended to be (and still is) a stand-alone, but my mind kept asking me, "So how can I continue this story?" It really turns out I can't, or if I can, then it won't be for many, many years.

    I think almost every writer wonders how they can continue with their characters and worlds, simply because they've already spent so much time with them, and don't want to let it all go. I also believe, however, that a writer should know when a sequel is necessary or, frankly, utterly pointless and rubbish. A sequel to my second novel would have to work damn hard not to be the latter! :)
     
  4. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,685
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    If you are planning on being published, don't even think about a sequel, or a series. Just focus on one quality story.
     
    Aled James Taylor likes this.
  5. Tara
    Offline

    Tara Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    286
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    I have at least 7 ideas for 7 different (unrelated) books in my head all the time. Despite that I hardly get past 5 chapters of a book, if I get past the creation of the characters at all. The same thing happens when I do get to write more of a story: I seem to get more ideas as I get closer to the end of the story and then it turns out there's still a great way to continue the series (even though I killed my two main characters at the end of the book).

    There are simply too many ideas, I guess... Or maybe that's what people call creativity.
     
  6. thewordsmith
    Offline

    thewordsmith Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    874
    Likes Received:
    124
    Location:
    State of Confusion
    Yeh. I know the feeling. (Just wish I could hold it to seven. People often ask how do you get your ideas. I always answer, "Getting ideas isn't hard. You just keep your ears open and your mind open and pay attention to the world around you. The ideas are there, you just have to learn to see them."

    Just last night someone made a comment about something and I said, "Shyte!"
    "What?" the wanted to know. (Thought something terrible had happened. I simply explained, "I just wrote another book!"

    If I wrote down all of the ideas for all of the books that come into my head nearly full-blow and beautiful, I'd never have time to finish the ones I'm working on.


    Yeh. That.
     
  7. RavenLuna
    Offline

    RavenLuna New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    My problem too. Some many ideas that I dont know where to begin or start with.
     
  8. Keitsumah
    Offline

    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,279
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Yeah, i get that but my family knows what's up when i get "the look" and then they burst out laughing!

    Pity that we writers aren't immortal... we will never finish all the stories we come up with in one lifetime...
     
  9. Uberwatch
    Offline

    Uberwatch Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2013
    Messages:
    257
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    My ScFi epic has went all over the place. Originally, it's start out a simple survival story on another planet, then I added so many different plotlines that I won't explain. I end up planning to write a sequel or possibly a third one. Then I thought of doing a backstory which I am writing first actually. Even had the thought of doing spin-offs.

    I have so many ideas for one story yet I can't get the first book done.
     
  10. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    I wouldn't call it "overflow," because all the ideas that turn out to be good actually do end up in one story or another. Presently KaTrian and I have... 12 stories that we haven't finished yet (or some we have but they are in need of serious revisions). Only 7 of those are stand-alones, but even with a series, we write them so that the first book will work as a stand-alone (since it seems the publishing world wants stand-alones whereas readers like a good series).
    Then if an agent / publisher is interested in a sequel / sequels, we can just hand out two more finished manuscripts (I'd imagine they'd find it a nice surprise, schedule-wise). If not, we're happy with the stand-alone too since, to us, the fun is writing the stories, not getting them published.
    One series we actually managed to write so that all parts work as stand-alones, but if you read them as a series, it works as well since all books have at least a couple of familiar characters, and the same main plot spans all the books. I'm a little proud of that.
     
  11. AnonyMouse
    Offline

    AnonyMouse Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,227
    Likes Received:
    337
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    There's nothing wrong with having a sequel in mind (or in writing) when aiming to get published. Just don't try to sell it as a package deal. If the first is accepted and sells well, your agent/pub will be pleased to know there is more where that came from. And if the first doesn't get published or doesn't sell well, having a "useless" manuscript of the sequel (or sequels) lying around is the least of your worries.
     

Share This Page