New Story Ideas

Ideas like to come into my head when I already have too many. I’m working on two stories right now, and random ideas for a third one popped into my head. When that happens, I try to incorporate those ideas into my work-in-progress somehow, but I don’t think that will work with this particular set of ideas. They’re just too different.

Every time I get a really good idea, I seem to want to turn it into a novel, or something very long, rather than make a short story out of it instead. I don’t like writing short stories because they are so short. I feel like there’s not enough room for everything I want to say, or for the ideas I have to fully develop.

But if I did write this new story (or new novel, or whatever the new ideas evolve into), it would be heavily symbolic. There would be controversial topics that I would rather hear characters discuss than to talk about myself. There would be characters, who, although fascinating, might not necessarily be likable. In other words, the story would not be marketable. It would not be terribly reader-friendly. It might just be a thought that I need to get out of my head and off my chest.

But I will hold onto these ideas like they are balloons. I won’t let them slip out of my grip for even a moment, and when I do have to let them go, I’ll tie them onto doorknobs and bedposts so they won’t drift away. 🙂

11 thoughts on “New Story Ideas

  1. Hey, with characters, fascinating trumps likable. I say write that story (when you can, of course).

    I agree with holding onto ideas for the future. I’ll give two examples.

    One. I have notes on several mystery stories that I haven’t written yet. One was The Abcdef Mystery (I’m avoiding spoilers 🙂 ). Just yesterday, one of my excellent beta readers, commenting on the mystery story book, said, Hey, this book needs an abcdef mystery. “I already have notes on that!” was my response.

    Two. I had an idea for a novel a few months ago, but I shelved it because it wouldn’t work without a character to fulfill a specific function. So I filed it away, but now I’ve realized that the protag of my current story could fit into that slot.


    • It’s always good to collect notes for future projects… there may come a time when you have enough ideas to actually start something. I think that might be the moment I’m waiting for.


  2. A couple of things about short stories.

    Most movies are made from short stories (ignore the books whose popularity forced them to the big screen). Converting a novel to film is extremely difficult because books are so long.

    Also, extraordinary SciFi writer Larry Niven says something to the tune of, “write short stories. The hone your craft. They make you learn to say what you need to say in short spaces. The money is in novels, but your craft comes from short stories.”

    That said, you might think of a short, or short-short story as a rough draft or complex outline for your next novel.

    I’m with you in a love for long and complex novels, but of late I’ve found some very good use for my old pile of short and short-short stories.


    • Thanks, Rik! Maybe I will write a short story and think of it as an “outline” – I never thought of that before. 🙂


  3. i know how you feel. I have way too many ideas too, and several stories in the works as well. And I recently began a new story. I think this one will be short, though, so hopefully it won’t take up much of my time when I should be working on “Fallen”. 😛


  4. Me too. Ideas pop up everywhere and I like a lot of them so I have to put them somewhere. I try to incorporate them into my current project, but if I can’t I just put them to the side (in a notebook or something) and use them another time.


  5. As much as I think it is important to write with an audience in mind, at the same time, the reason we write is because we love writing. We write things that excite and interest us. So you know what? Go heavily symbolic. Have your characters talk about controversial topics. Maybe it’s not marketable. So what?


    • I agree. Musicians don’t just write and rehearse songs, after all. Sometimes they just jam, letting the ideas come, not worrying about whether there’s a hook. And sometimes great songs can come out of that. And sometimes not, and that’s fine, too. 🙂

      I was a big Roger Zelazny fan growing up, and I remember picking up Creatures of Light and Darkness. I thought it would be like Lord of Light, which had come just before, only with Egyptian Gods rather than Hindu ones. But it was considerably weirder than that. Really good, but not a “crowd-pleaser.” I found out later that Zelazny had written it for his own enjoyment, not intending to publish it, and Samuel R. Delany had convinced him to have it published. Everything doesn’t have to have a market, or even an audience (though sometimes it can turn out to have an audience anyway).


  6. Oh god. I’ve notebooks full of story ideas. Wish I can find the time to develop ’em into something. And when I do start on developing ’em nto something, I wish I can sustain the energy and inspiration to finish ’em.

    Wishes, wishes, wishes… The 9-5 world and the 4-hour commute to and from work is killing my creativity. 😦


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