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Too many ideas


Im in the planning stage, I have a note book that I take everywhere with me to jot down ideas. recently ive landed on one that I really like the general idea is there but the plot changes on a daily basis... ive tried to sit down and force myself to map out the most basic version of the plot I can think of but all I seem to come up with is different ideas.

Im sure if you tracked my thread topics you would see what I mean. ive gone from faeries to zombies and back again but not before stopping in Nepal. I just cant seem to land the 'idea'. I think they're all amazing but they arnt working together.
what do you think?


I don't remember other threads, but have you tried mapping a plots using only one of those character ideas rather than trying to combine them?


One day you will likely wish to kick yourself for saying having too many ideas was a problem. :p

Anyways have you tried planning your different ideas separately? Plan out your Faerie story, your zombie story, etc and then start writing one of them until you get stuck at which point you move on to the second one and so on. Ultimately it will make the process of getting a single story done take longer but it will keep your original ideas closer to their original vision without getting messed up by each other.


I'm in the same boat as you, and I can barely commit to any one of my ideas for long stretches of time. Even worse, most of my ideas actually share common themes that make me seem monomaniacal.


You can always settle on one main idea that you consider to be the best one for your plot and have the others act as subplots. This way, nothing goes to waste. All you have to do is adapt the rest of your ideas to your main one, but that won't be an issue for someone with such a rich imagination :)


I have sat down and tried developing, I can think of the beginning sometimes the ending and then it starts getting silly in the middle, I read back and find my finger pressed hard against the delete key and I remove it all as if it never existed.
I can tell you what i did, and hope it helps you. I had 30,000 ideas in my head and i thought they were all suppose to fit in one story, but they weren´t. It was just that i wanted to write about all that. So, I sat down and separated my ideas into differnt stories, much like unraveling a yarn that a cat´s been playing with. And lo and behold, it suddenly all made sense. I cleared up the story i was writing at the moment and gave the other wonderful ideas to my other texts. Worked like a charm.


I think your situation is actually very beneficial in the long run because it teaches you something very important: Ideas are cheap. Coming up with something to write a story about is easy, there are MILLIONS of great, cool, interesting ideas out there and when you stumble across one you don't need to treat it like a precious treasure...just write the story about it!

I think the easiest solutions are just...

A - Hold off on writing anything, keep building up a grab bag of cool ideas, eventually just sit down, look through them, jam a few together in unusual ways, and try and find something that works and roll with it. Don't force things together when they don't fit, but be open to adapting ideas around other ideas that maybe aren't as close, on the surface, as you think they are.

B - Buckle down, choose one, and write. That simple. Don't worry about making it perfect, just go with it. All those other cool ideas never need disappear, you can put them in a drawer and write about them some other time. Even if the story doesn't work it too is always available to be recycled into another story.


How well I know this feeling.

However, there is one thing I have learnt in its regard; you can spend days or weeks or months planning, rearranging, but in the end, you have done very little actual writing. Characters, whilst planned and pondered, have not had a good chance to come alive. You are trying to perfect a script, without rehearsing any scenes. Sometimes, fragments, even a conversation between two characters - in which actual setting or situation is to be advised, can launch into something bigger.

I am not sure if I have been clear, but in summary, the best way to see what works is to write - to just start and let it grow from there. You may end up with a lot of isolated scenes. But you might learn something from those scenes. You might get to know the characters better after seeing them perform in those rehearsals.

I have always found long periods of planning without getting the characters talking ultimately a waste of time - for me. Everyone has their methods, after all.
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I had a number of grand ideas that I wanted (and still want) to fit into one big epic story. I tried putting them together and it went reasonably well but more and more plot-holes that I didn't feel like dealing with started to appear.
Eventually I decided I'd just do something else and let ideas mature for a while. I still have the setting though and I'm using that to tell an entirely different and mostly unrelated story about a side character that had little to no bearing on the original story. I figure that by doing this I'm getting started on a bigger project which gives me some experience writing. I'm also getting more familiar with the setting and will be able to iron out kinks and errors before I start on the main story.
All the while I have my basic ideas at the back of my head. As they're maturing I'll get less attached and protective of them, meaning I'll have an easier time modifying and adjusting them at a later date.

The Unseemly

I had 30,000 ideas in my head and i thought they were all suppose to fit in one story, but they weren´t.

It can be terribly heartbreaking to kill wonderful ideas because they simply don't fit (something I've had to do on many occasions) - that is to say, when you have too many ideas, it's best to broaden everything down to ones which you deem best.

While ideas are good, remember that they only exist within the realms of your own mind, and not your readers'. Unfortunately, you can't cram everything into one story, but while this might seem obvious, I've read a terribly large amount of books which do the obvious don't - cram. This stems of into clarity problems (on the most part), or length/interest problems. If you keep delving into idea after idea after idea, it gets to the point were either you've spent so much time that the reader's put the book down, bored of incessant ideas that don't seem to lead anywhere, or the reader's lost your trail of thought, and (you guessed it) they put the book down.

This is why I like your notebook write-it-down concept. Ideas come and go, but putting down the best ones somewhere, where you won't forget them, means you can always use them for future reference, or, if anything, inspiration.


I am not sure it is such a tragedy if scenes do not fit; they may yet find their way into other stories...