We’ve all heard writers saying to jolt ideas down. We’ve also all heard famous writers advising aspiring writers to finish their work. Jolt the idea down, develop it and finish it (at least the first draft and then you can focus on editing, proofreading, etc).
If you’re like me, you’ve probably experienced moments/days/weeks when you have no ideas, no motivation, no inspiration whatsoever; and you’ve also had a time when you have about a million and one ideas a day, especially when you’re on some sort of deadline, and have other things you should be doing.
So you have your idea on paper, you’re starting to develop it, the characters, outline, etc…. Do you ever have a moment when you’re working on developing those things and there are just too many things not working out?
I’ve hit this point with some of my ideas throughout the years. (I’m currently facing this issue with my idea for last year’s NaNoWriMo. I started that thing last minute trying to outline and figure things out as I went along – which didn’t work; and it wasn’t the first time). Now, the thing is I like this idea. I like the characters, the world building, the plot…. But something’s not working and I’m not feeling it – namely that feeling you get when everything’s going well, right. (So it’s just on-hold at the moment until I decide.)
So, when do you drop an idea? I don’t mean give up because it’s too much work, and maybe get back to it when you’re feeling it. I mean – drop it permanently and use what you can for other stories.
It’s a difficult choice because you’ve not only put time and effort into it, but you’ve probably grown attached to certain characters, or certain scenes, or just the story in general. It takes a lot of considering, possibly a pros-and-cons list or two – or if you really wan to save your story – maybe reorganize/change your story until it doesn’t look like same anymore.
Nowadays you can follow authors on lots of social media websites, and sometimes you’ll find out about their new projects years before there’s any sort of announcement from publishers or goodreads. That’s great because they sometimes also give advice and share their work methods and whatnot – but you don’t really hear about the books that could’ve been and why/how they decided not to pursue them. Which to me, would be really interesting.
So, how do you decide?