This week I’m writing about how to sort out the endless ideas you have knocking around in your brain. I always liken this condition to a jar full of angry bumble bees. The best thing to do for the poor things is remove the lid and set them free. Same is true for your story ideas.
The first order of business is to get it all outside yourself. You have to.
Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to cranking out stories the world is waiting to read.
- Get a new notebook (don’t try slogging through the mess of notes you already have)
- Devote one page to each snippet in your brain: Do you have the physical form of a character? Write only that down at the top of the page and move on to the next page. A name? Same idea. Write it at the top of the next page and move on. Are you hearing dialogue, sound, a voice? An image that won’t leave you alone? Do you have a storyline brewing? A motivation? An obstacle? Allow each piece of information to take up space on the page.
- Begin to expand on each snippet, one-by-one. This may be hard if you’re a person who has way too many ideas, but each snippet is a nugget for a full-blown story. Give each one ample time and learn to be okay with setting the others aside for now, knowing that you’ll eventually get to each one.
- If you just can’t possible set all the others aside, set a timer and devote a specified amount of time – say, 15-60 mins. – to each page on your writing day(s).
Sounds too simple, I know. But it will work. Promise.