Kindle Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,434 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Curious to know how you folks deal with too many ideas and getting overwhelmed by which one to go with out of fear of picking one that won't sell?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,138 Posts
I split them up. Start a book with one of them, see if it is working by the second or third chapter. If it doesn't, I file that away for inclusion into a different book.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
565 Posts
I've struggled with this a ton, and what I've settled into addressing things on a per chapter basis. I try to go into each chapter with one main idea, a way to tie it into the larger plot, one specific subtext, and one setting, then let it all play out. Usually I can wrap up the smaller stuff within one chapter and move on, almost like each chapter is a mini story. Part of it is just how I like to do things, but it helps me keep pace and also to incorporate a lot of ideas from chapter to chapter.

But I think when I'm reading books, the main thing to me is if it can keep my interest. There could be a bunch of bad ideas in there, there could be things that I don't particularly like, but if it's interesting I'll read it. So, I try to take that into writing. Not all of my ideas are going to be amazing, but if I try to make something interesting at least, then it might all come out in the wash.

Don't know if it's great advice or anything, but that's my two cents. At the very least, too many ideas is a much better problem to have than too few :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
I don't think of it in terms of which will sell or bomb as that's really hard to predict, but more in terms of which one I want to write most. Right now I have ideas for 6 books, and I don't let that initimidate me - instead, I just sequence them and go after the first one that fits my parameters (most want to write, best fits my series narrative etc.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
I don't think of it in terms of which will sell or bomb as that's really hard to predict, but more in terms of which one I want to write most. Right now I have ideas for 6 books, and I don't let that initimidate me - instead, I just sequence them and go after the first one that fits my parameters (most want to write, best fits my series narrative etc.)
I'd say these wise words x100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
293 Posts
My problem isn't overwhelm, my problem is my tendency to jump ship for shiny things.

Even if I maintain a level of focus, I can still get off track. I finished a draft for my current WIP, but then I felt I needed to start with something more connected to the backstory, so I switched it up, that draft became book 2, and I got halfway through the first draft of the new book 1 before I decided I should have a reader magnet because I'm new to publishing and that might lead to a modest mailing list by the time I have book 1 ready, plus I had a good idea that didn't really work with the series in the main setting but could work as a prequel, so I started writing that. That's turned into a full length novel even though I was going for novella. So now I have a full length almost finished draft of a reader magnet that might turn out just to be book 1, book 2 half finished, and book 3 waiting for my attention to circle back.

It might all work out, I was planning on releasing close together for the first few books, but this writing experience is so different than my first, unpublished WIP, and that trilogy turned out to be a mess with a ton of holes, so I'm a little worried. I planned more for my current series and did more outlining, plotting future ideas in advance than I would've thought possible and my execution is still what it is.
 

·
Registered
Victorian-era Fantasy, final draft stages. LitRPG, approaching final draft.
Joined
·
3 Posts
I may be uncommon in my approach, but I simply don't decide. I start writing all of my ideas. As writing is more on the hobby side of the spectrum for me, I'm afforded that luxury.

I've never been able to start, write, then finishing one book in a single go. That said, I've also never had to rely on the publishing of a book to provide me income for bills.

I'm working on two duologies, one trilogy, and two standalone stories right now. One has just entered final revisions, one's first draft has just been completed, and the other three are at various stages of rough draft progression. That works for me. However, I've also been working on these for multiple years - a slowness to my pace that may not be an option for some.

If you're writing as your primary source of income, I would imagine it becomes much more important to choose a story to write, then write it all the way through so it can be sent off for editing and proofing, and then listed for sale as soon as possible. While I have no experience with needing to make a decision on which idea would sell well, I would start my approach by determining the genres the ideas fall in, what other novels I'm aware of that most closely resemble them, and then look at statistics of those. If one is a clear winner and I believe I can finish it before the audience has moved on, I'd have my winner.

As a hobby or alternative income option, where speed-to-publish isn't a significant factor? I think it's probably more important to address feeling overwhelmed, than it is caring about the number of stories wanting to leap from brain to page. Feeling overwhelmed is more likely to cause me to take a break from writing, as I don't like the feeling and I get plenty of that in my day job. At that point, I'd write my high level ideas out and then see which one my brain wants to run with most. The others will still be there, if my brain switches gears.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,001 Posts
Curious to know how you folks deal with too many ideas and getting overwhelmed by which one to go with out of fear of picking one that won't sell?
I have a document that is strictly just story ideas. I dump everything I can think of into the document, then close it, and sit on it until my thoughts settle. Once I have a clear head, I then plan if I'm going to move forward with it. I get what you mean, though, because I was halfway through writing Of Fury and Fangs and got an idea for a better novel. At first, I tried to integrate it into this book, but it didn't mesh well, so I extracted the 11k words I'd written about it and revised the entire thing. Now that's done and published, so I can tackle the new idea in the next book. The other thing I do before I actually begin a novel is not an actual outline--it's a list of plot bunnies and ideas that COULD go in the book, but I review each one to see if they gel with each other and make sense. I also have to admit I kinda don't care what sells? I write for myself first. If other people like it, whoo hoo! That's great! If not, oops, sorry. That being said, I do make sure to check my work against stereotypes, cliches, and tropes to be sure my work isn't too narrowly focused.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
75 Posts
I don't remember ever being overwhelmed. I have tons of ideas, though, and I just write them down in a specific file. If I have a lot of details for a specific idea I might start a file for it. Either way, I then usually let it rest while I work on my current WIP.

It can take years sometimes before I use one of those ideas. And sometimes they get merged. This happened a few months ago, when I realized that 5 different ideas I'd had would actually work really well together, so bam! I created a new file and tossed them all in there. That project turned into multiple short stories, some of which I've already written. There are plans for some novels, too, as I really really like that setting ;)

But yeah, as others have mentioned, having too many ideas is a great problem to have haha.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
118 Posts
Curious to know how you folks deal with too many ideas and getting overwhelmed by which one to go with out of fear of picking one that won't sell?
There's an important distinction between a good idea and a good book. Not everything that you think to yourself, "That's awesome! What a great book that would make." will flesh out.
My personal method, and is in no way to be taken as the right or only way, is roughly as follows.
  • Once an idea is formed, I sit and think about the core concept for a while. Then I set it aside.
  • After a week or two, if the idea persists, I move on to detailing some plot points and basic character development. At this stage I know if the idea is worth exploring further. But we're not there yet.
  • I jot down a thin framework, including a few world building details, and flesh out the primary characters a bit more.
  • If by now the characters and main plot have progressed enough to foresee possible twists, I begin fleshing out the world more thoroughly.
  • By now, if the idea is worthy of becoming a book, I'll be able to write a full synopsis. If not, I put it into the recycled works file, where it often gets cannibalized to provide material for other stories.
About one out of every twenty ideas are worth the time and effort it takes to turn them into full length novels. That being said, I rely on my personal excitement about a story rather than whether I think it will sell. Uninspired work will read as uninspired. A professional writer can craft the prose well enough. But the story will be lacking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
Curious to know how you folks deal with too many ideas and getting overwhelmed by which one to go with out of fear of picking one that won't sell?
I write up any ideas that interest me in longhand in a notebook, using the last few pages of the notebook as a table of contents. Alot of them fall by the wayside. I lose interest in them. I don't care that I never got around to writing them, I don't care if they maybe had more commercial appeal than the stuff I actually wrote. Some keep cropping up in different variations until I find one that works for me: the space opera novel I released around Christmas 2020 was written in 2019-2020 but grew out of several previous failed novel attempts going back to 2014 or thereabouts.

The ones that actually get written are usually ones 1). that appeal strongly to me, over several months or longer of thinking them over; 2). I have a pretty good idea of what the major characters are like; 3). I have a clearcut beginning and endpoint, and some ideas of how to turn it into a series.

Usually by the time I finish publishing one series, I have a pretty good idea of what story idea will be my next project, and usually "Want to write it" ranks a lot higher than "Seems Commercially Viable." But I have started paying more attention to commercial viability, and I feel like my best bet for determining that is this: classify my ideas by genre and subgenre, then look at the top 100 on Amazon in those subgenres to see which one of my ideas lines up with genre expectations the best...and whether those are popular subgenres with coherent genre expectations, because there are categories on Amazon where that is not the case.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top