Especially when trying to decide what to do for your next novel.
I have hundreds of ideas, but that doesn’t mean I’m turning each of them into novels. Sure, a story about a female pirate and a male mermaid is a neat idea, but will it sell? What’s the plot behind it? Is it more than a role reversal Little Mermaid? It’s not something I’m behind 1000% so it’s not the idea I’m going to choose for National Novel Writing Month (NaNo).
In my years as a writer, I’ve found that the more passionate you are about an idea, the easier the writing will be. Even if you have to Google and fact check everything, if it’s what you’re passionate about, it will come easily. The hardest writing, I find, is when you’re half-assing an idea. If you don’t care strongly about an idea, then it’s hard to get inspired by it.
I have maybe four ideas that I’m passionate about to make it to full novel, but I can only write about one. So I’m having to rank my ideas based on a small list.
- How much writing have I already done for the idea?
If I’ve done a lot of writing for this idea already, I feel dishonest making that my NaNo idea. So if it doesn’t rank as well in other areas, I’d rather go with an idea I haven’t started yet.
2. How much have I thought about this idea since thinking it up?
I usually know what projects I’m passionate about based on how much I think about them. If it pops into my head while driving, sleeping, showering, or even writing other things, then I know I can work with that idea until it’s done.
3. Is the idea sellable?
A smart writer knows the market and writes novels that will sell, regardless of if they’re even interested in the idea. For example, zombies are MAJORLY popular at the moment and don’t seem to be fizzling out too soon. I know I just said don’t write ideas you’re not passionate about, but if the idea is obscure and won’t make as much money on the market, why spend all this time writing it? It sounds cruel, trust me I know, but it’s the honest truth.
With those simple criteria, I’m gong to be selecting my idea sometime this week. From there I’ll begin to tackle my plot and characters to get a vague idea of who and what is happening in the novel. And then from there…. well, you’ll see.
Stay creative my friends,