When I started writing, I took the first idea that came to me and ran with it. No stopping me. Not even a bulldozer on full throttle.
- I didn’t think about the market.
- I didn’t think about what publishers were looking for.
- I didn’t make sure my idea wasn’t just a derivative plotline.
And now, I know better.
While revising my current project, I’ve also been dreaming and plotting my next project. Like a Ferris wheel, I’ve been going round and round and round – for three months! Yikes. I’ve completely ditched 2 separate outlines. I’ve looked at a shelved project. But slowly, an idea has transformed and grown into something I can be excited about.
The other ideas weren’t bad, but I wasn’t doing cartwheels around my room with excitement either. And when I brainstormed plot points, not much came. Or not much good came.
So how do I know when I’ve found the right idea?
- It’s not the first idea. More like the tenth.
- It’s not based on movies or books I’ve read recently.
- It’s not based on my mood that day or week.
- It’s a book I’d love to read.
- It’s an idea I’m willing to stick with for the next year.
- Characters appear that fit with the plot. Not cliché either.
- It’s an idea I’d want to be a debut novel.
- It’s a genre or character I could continue writing about.
But I know for absolute sure when the plot points come with ease.
Some might say I waited too long. That I could spend forever diddling around with plots and never be happy. And that might be true. But I couldn’t move forward until all the signs were there and I knew in my gut.
How do you know when you’re ready to move forward with an idea?