Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ready to Write Again?

Some people in the NaNo world are gearing up to write another story. The challenge to write 50,000 words in a month is no longer restricted to the month of November. They have camp sessions in both April and July. If you want to participate in that challenge, go here to sign up.

I am not participating in April’s camp. Other things have my attention right now, and my new story idea is half-baked, at best. If I do participate in Camp later this year, I am not planning on posting daily encouragement as I complete the challenge. I will save that for November.

But, back to today’s topic. Has a new story emerged yet? Are you wondering if it’s worth writing?

How Do You Know If Your Story Idea is Worth Pursuing?

At first, alas, you do not know if your new idea is THE idea. Let the “what if” scenarios play out before you. Do you feel this story have potential? Is the theme of the new idea one that resonates with you? Does it have a point? You may laugh, but I've found some story ideas of mine have no point.

If you answered yes to those three questions, chances are you have a story worth pulling your hair out over. However, you may not know it’s worth anything until after the first draft is complete and you’re looking over it with fresh eyes. Writing is unfair. If you’re going to be a writer, you have to deal with it.

For right now, make notes on your story. See if you have any great ideas about where the story could go. If you start getting excited about the plot, chances are you have a good idea on your hands. Either that, or you’re a fan of your own work. That’s okay, too. If this story is going to get somewhere, you’re going to have to like what you’ve written.

All Ideas Are NOT Created Equal

Every story idea will not be a best seller. Some are not worth pursuing. Some are not worth making notes over. But you don’t know when a new idea hits you which one that will be. I’ve heard it suggested to keep a file on your computer for ideas. Jot down your thoughts and go on your way. When you need inspiration, check the file.

Currently, I’m mulling through an idea that I will likely never write down. Unless I see a reason to add these events to my story time line, I’m content at where I left the characters. However, I am still letting the scenes play in my head. I might grab an idea from this story that will be helpful later on. We’ll see.

You Are Not Wasting Your Time

An investor once told parents of a friend of mine, “There are two ways to make money. Spend it or save it.” Spending money on something you think will make you more money is called investing.

From here on out, do not think of the time you spend mulling over stories that are never written as “wasting time.” You are investing your time in a make believe world, trying to determine which idea will be worth penning next. Don’t let the time involved in your story ideas take over your life, of course, but don’t consider any of it a waste of effort. Writing is a craft. It takes time to get it right. The more time you log in this area, the better you’ll get at it. Eventually.

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