Too many Ideas Syndrome

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Ewolf20, Nov 7, 2018 at 1:49 PM.

  1. Ewolf20

    Ewolf20 Master

    sweet lord i have too many ideas. that would be a good thing, if it weren't the fact they're separate stories all together. each and every day i've been making new ideas when something pops up in head. just recently i got the idea of a superhero with a heart motif. another one is about two races locked into a forever war for some anicent monolith. can't seem to find a certian project i like and would happily work on.

    is it normal for a writer to have this many ideas?
    SoulThief likes this.
  2. psychotick

    psychotick Dark Lord


    Yes. I have over two hundred part finished novels on my computer. Some of them are almost complete - and most of them I return to every so often. Sometimes I even finish them!

    Cheers, Greg.
    SoulThief likes this.
  3. Penpilot

    Penpilot Staff Article Team

    Yep, it's normal. Writing is like sparking a wildfire for ideas. The more you write, the more you feed the flames.

    How you deal with it is up to you. Some authors have to stop what they doing and write the new idea before going back to the old. Others, like me, just scribble down the new idea, getting as much about it as I can, and then set it aside for later. I may come back to it. I may not. I've got a wiki full of unused ideas. When I'm ready to write something new, or are in need of ideas, I peruse the file for stuff.

    Often I combine two or more of the ideas I have to fill out my new story. I find that sometimes that initial idea isn't enough for a full story, but if I combine it with another idea, there's more there for me to work with.
  4. ScaryMJDiamcreep

    ScaryMJDiamcreep Master

    I haven't yet jumped down the rabbit hole of ideas, so at the moment I have characters and no story to put them in. Ban's thread is helping me do the world building, but I'm yet to flesh the world out enough to make a story plan. So I'm pretty much going about this the opposite way to most people.
  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    There are images, ideas, and stories. The one does not always lead into the other.

    A hero with a heart motif is an image. I get these, too. My image was of people growing out of the ground like plants; some partially-formed, others fully formed. That's just an image, though.

    Ideas are closer to story. I had an idea of a closed-room murder mystery that involved all wizards. It's a cool idea, but I've not been able to take it anywhere. It's in my Ideas file. From time to time it peers at me.

    I would warn against thinking images and ideas are stories. They *could* be stories. They could be made into stories, or if you paid more attention to them they might become stories (the human garden did), but in themselves they are not stories. A story needs plot, character, setting, and theme.

    Ideas and images are seductive because they're easy. They're easy because they're truncated. They don't require work. They seem cool because they haven't yet had to do any work and you've not had to invest anything in them. Turning them into stories is work.

    The key question is, do any of these ideas have legs? Do they carry you into a plot? Do they call up characters? Do they have a theme? Do you see a setting? IMO, like world building, ideas are necessary but not sufficient. And they can seduce one into not actually writing stories. They're all promise and no substance.

    Push them a bit. If any one of them seems to have more to it that just an idea, that's the one to ride home on.
    Sheilawisz likes this.
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Valar Lord

    Too many ideas...yep. This affliction derailed my already off course NaNo project. The vast majority of my tales on the primary world take place within a ten year timespan, with occasional flashbacks to decades or even centuries prior. Going past that period, well, I had almost nothing - just a few notations. Then, yesterday, everything for the next hundred years sort of jelled. Disparate bits from the fake history and already written tales came together, presenting possibilities. So, last night, the fake history grew by 800+ words, and the events recorded provide opportunity for...well...maybe a novel. Or a series of short stories. Or a couple novellas.
  7. TWErvin2

    TWErvin2 Dark Lord

    Most writers have a plethora of story ideas. That's not a problem. But if a writer cannot ever manage to focus on one of those ideas long enough to finish the story, then it is a problem--if the writer ever hopes to share those stories with readers.
  8. SoulThief

    SoulThief Apprentice

    Indeed, lots of ideas. I tried separating my ideas from one novel into many but now am bringing them back again. LOL. They are more mature now that I've worked on them separately and I suddenly saw how they fitted together.
  9. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Grandmaster

    For sure. Once you start writing it's like the gates to your imagination have been flung open. I keep a separate file for any ideas that don't fit my current story. If you're not sure what to work on I suggest making an outline for each story decide where and when your characters are, what major events you think will happen, and where will the characters be at the end of the stories. At this point if you still can't decide try writing the first chapter for each story and see which is calling for you to continue. Good luck in your writing.
  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox Staff Moderator

    Another approach is to pick one and just sit down and write it. All the way to the end, even if it stinks. Finishing a bad story is far better than starting a hundred good ones. And that, in turn, is far better than a thousand ideas.

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