1. Venom.
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    Venom. Member

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    Sicking to one story, plot and theme.

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Venom., Jun 28, 2011.

    I've got this problem where I can't seem to stick with one story. I have so many ideas and all of them are usually different genres. Horror, Crime, comedy. But I just seem to have all these ideas floating around and I can never stick to ONE story in order to finish it.

    Anybody else get this? Any way to get over it?
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Once I start on a project, if other ideas occur to me - and they do - I write a brief note to myself and leave it in my writing file so I can come back to it later. But I try not to jump from one thing to another while I'm actually working on something.

    I remember reading an article about Alice McDermott, who is from Long Island, after she had written her first three novels. She was asked about what she was working on at the time, and she replied that, actually, she was working on four different things, much to the annoyance of her editor. So, you can see it's a common problem even among published writers.
     
  3. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Follow the one that you feel is most a part of you, that you can impart the most of yourself onto. Ignore any other ideas until you finish it. If you finish it and you managed to remember one of the ideas you tried to ignore, it's probably important.
     
  4. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    I am working on several stories/books.

    When I get tired or stuck on one, I shift to another.
    But you have to know your characters and remember where you are going with them.

    love the typo,
    "sicking to one story"
     
  5. Declan
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    Declan Senior Member

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    I'm working on a novel and a short story collection at the same time.

    I also tend to read a short story collection whilst reading a novel.

    Keeps me busy :)
     
  6. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    Just for a bit of fun - why not incorporate them and revel in the madness!
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Leon Orwik
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    Leon Orwik New Member

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    This happens to me all the time. I do suggest sticking to one story at a time (I've tried multiple but managed to only complete 4 sub-par works). I think an idea is something that when you find it you need to keep it. I don't just take down a few notes, I write as much as I can, everything I'm thinking about on that idea. I can't tell you how many times I've had and idea slip away because a few days later I looked back at my notes and all that's written there is: "awesome MC, year 2020, captain of Kursaks, Knowledge of the stars" This is real, I still have the page and still have no idea what the idea was but I do remember that at the time I came up with it I thought it was going to be the best story ever.

    Personally, I say when you have the idea, take some time, maybe an hour or two, to think about the story and write it down in full detail. I like to use notebooks for the first draft/note taking part of my stories because it makes me feel more like a writer than sitting in front of a computer does. But really put some thought into it and then put it down; go back to the story you were originally working on and when that story has run its course its time to pick up your notebook and find your favorite idea (I usually have 2 or 3 good ones by the time I'm done working on the first) and follow that one.

    If you do decide to put one story down in favor of another, just remember when you come back you may have forgotten where you were taking the story, so always read through it before you start again...another mistake I've made...a few times...in the same story.

    Of course, this is only my humble suggestion, in the end you have to do what feels right to you!

    Leon Orwik
     
  8. superdoopersauce
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    superdoopersauce Member

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    I feel like I'm a relatively emotional person, so I have different stories that I'm working on for different moods. Try to separate your ideas based on how you're feeling at the moment, and work on each story in the right mood. Usually with a plethora of ideas, you're going to want a plethora of stories to reflect a few at a time, at least in order to keep things to the point. Or, as a previous poster mentioned, just embrace this all and pour it into one piece.
     
  9. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    It happens to me too to get ideas for new stories while working on something already, but I don't see it as a problem. I just write down the basic idea and then let it mature inside my head until I have finished this first story, then I'll decide on which of the other ideas I have that I'm going to start working on next. I actually feel it's a good thing, because I know I will never be out of ideas and still I don't feel tempted to start writing on it the moment it appears in my mind. Good ideas only get better if you let them sit for a while and develop them naturally in thoughts and daydreams first. That way you won't get stuck after 2-3 chapters once you start writing.
     
  10. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    It's not uncommon for me to have more than one story going at the same time. I don't see it being an issue, so long as when I come back to these stories, I can find again the magic spark that brought them to life in the first place. If worse comes to worse and the spark has died, then that particular piece is shelved, but not deleted.
     
  11. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I always work on multiple things at a time. I usually stick to one until it gets going properly, and then I start working on the others at the same time. I usually have all the files open and switch between them. Sometimes I'll write a little on that, and then some on the next one, go back to the first one, then the third one, etc. It works fine for first drafts. When you start properly editing I suggest sticking to just one, or at least one at the time.

    However, when I get new ideas, I always write down whatever I come up with in a word file, just to get it out of my head. Then I come back to it some time later to see if it's as good as I thought it was when I was inspired.
     
  12. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    Always! It bugs the stuffing outta me! I generally jot down ideas for the other ideas in my free time or when I find myself not generating ideas for my current project. The key to finishing a project is focusing on the project. It can feel like you have a thousand and one projects going at once, but stick to the one that captured your attention enough to focus on it alone for longer than a chapter. You can always work on the other projects later on.
     

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