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Too many Ideas Syndrome

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Ewolf20, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Ewolf20

    Ewolf20 Minstrel

    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 Auror


    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.
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  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 Troubadour

    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 toujours gai, archie 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.
  6. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    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 Auror

    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 Scribe

    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 Inkling

    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.
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  10. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie 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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  11. scink

    scink New Member

    Not really sure. For me the problem is that the next section of the story tends to run like a film in my head and I can get a whole chapter and it is so well structured I then have to try and match the writing in my head with real words. I dare not interupt the train of thread because the story does reveal itself in that way. I am always amazed in truth how when I am not focussing the story will reveal its next part to me. Fortunately I am able to recall for the most part what happened. Amazingly some of what I include in the stories comes to me in dreams. The metaphores are quite strong. Again I just have to hope to remember. And so I will write chapters with a good overview of where the story is going. I love the adventure of writing. Whilst I have the basic idea filled out from the getgo the how I get to a conclusion always proves to be an unknown.

    I can only be in one book at a time. I become totally absorbed by what is going on and therefore it really takes on a world all of its own. I get drawn back in as the next chapter ebbs into my mind. There is no greater joy than reading your words over and over. At the end of the day I will often lose myself in the last chapter I created. By doing so I am more likely to fill my head and ready myself for the next exciting section. The adventure of writing... magic.
  12. toomanyhobbies

    toomanyhobbies Acolyte

    I think it is very common for writers to have too many ideas! For me, I always write down a summary of the story. I try to write out the entirety of my idea, in as much detail as I have at the time, which may take anywhere from one to eight pages. Occasionally I'll even include a snippet of dialogue if I have a particular conversation I want to include. Usually, when I get a new idea I don't have quite enough to make into a full story, so I can get my full summary into one to eight pages. After I've written it down, I feel better knowing that I won't forget it, and that I can go back to it and add more.

    I've found that, while I always have tons of ideas (my story ideas document is over 250 pages long now), there are usually only a select few that I love enough to turn into full books, so I save all the ideas I get so I can come back to them; but I usually only end up writing only the ones that refuse to stop expanding and playing around in my mind.
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