Tag Archives | when to stop plotting

Stop the plotting Ferris wheel! I want to get off!

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?

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