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How do I choose which novel to write and stick to that decision?

I have so many ideas and unfinished projects thanks to my inability to stick with one and really put all my thought and energy ONLY to that one.

So any advice to how you're supposed to do that?

Thanks a lot!

3 Answers

  • 2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    It's facing facts. If you leave what you're working on every time a shiny new idea floats by, or every time the going gets tough, you will never complete a book. It's that simple.

    So the bigger question is, do you want to finish a book badly enough to ignore new ideas and power through difficulties, or keep flitting around like an amateur who will never finish one?

    Create a computer file named IDEAS or something equally clever. Now use the BIC method. That's your butt in chair for a set amount of time every day, minimum 30 minutes. (An hour or more is better. You want to write this novel or not?) During BIC time you have two options, and only two. You may write, or you may not write. You can't be online, have the TV on in the background, read or send texts or instant messages, play a computer game, do writing-related research, read what you've already written, adjust your outline, eat, smoke, or anything else. Write or don't, period. (Those who give themselves BIC of more than an hour can schedule a break if they must have one--but it doesn't count as part of the BIC time.)

    If a new idea comes to you during BIC time, stop the BIC clock to write it down in IDEAS. Write no more than a few sentences. Then return to BIC, with a five-minute penalty for self-interruption, so you add at least five minutes to the days' assigned time.

    Most days, you'll write. On the best days, you'll 'catch fire' and go beyond your assigned time, which is great. However, you can't amass credit. The next day, you still owe the same amount of BIC time as every other day.

    Very few life events cancel BIC time. Travel, vacation, being super busy, family crisis, personal or emotional crisis, and illness do *not* cancel BIC, although if you're in the hospital you may excuse yourself if you must.

    If you apply the BIC method, you *will* finish a first draft. Before you dive in on the second draft, it helps if you let it sit for a while--and that's when you revisit that IDEAS file and see what your next book might be.

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  • Andrew
    Lv 7
    2 years ago

    Many young amateur writers mistakenly equate having an idea with having a solid premise or plot for a story. The wide majority of people who write were prompted to do so because they require an outlet for their thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas. Having ideas doesn't make you special. It also doesn't make you creative. And it doesn't make you a writer.

    You see, writers write. They don't tout their ideas and dupe themselves into believing that having ten ideas that could be turned into ten books is better than having ten thousand words down on paper. Because it isn't.

    If you really and truly want to write, then go ahead and do it. It's not about motivation or inspiration. That's all nonsense. If you need to be inspired and motivated to write then sit around waiting for Jesus to appear with a brilliant idea etched onto stone tablets. That ought to be inspiring and motivating enough for anyone. But, should you decide that you'd rather get started a bit sooner, then why not right now?

    One quality that every writer must acquire if he or she does not possess it innately is dedication to the craft. I have never once in my life awoken to find that my latest story had written itself. I have never left a dictionary, a thesaurus, a bottle of ink and a sheaf of paper in a cool, dark place and returned two weeks later to find a completed novel. It doesn't work that way. If you want to have a finished product, you have to sit down and make it.

    So, how do you go about deciding which one to write first? Well, it doesn't really matter how. Going into all the possibilities of how you might decide could just result in more delay. Choose three ideas or five or ten or however many you want, assign each of them a number, take ten slips of paper and write "1", "2", and "3", etc., on them, one by one, then place them in a cup or a hat and choose one at random. That method ought to work well enough.

    Once you've decided, you must make a promise to yourself that you will not throw in the towel or move on to another idea until you have managed to produce something with the one you've chosen. Set a realistic limit for yourself - an arbitrary word count of 2,500 words or 5,000 words or 10,000 words... or you could write 500 words a day or 1,000 words per day for a week or two weeks or whatever you like.

    But no matter what happens, come Hell or high water, you must whittle away at it until you hit the mark. It will be at those moments when you aren't feeling particularly inspired or motivated and when things don't seem to be flowing right out of you that you will really and truly be testing your mettle. If you give up and admit to yourself that you don't have what it takes to honour the agreement that you made with yourself, then you will know that you don't have the chops or the patience or the dedication or the wherewithal to write. And if it's simply a case of you fancying the idea of calling yourself a writer and strutting about town talking about all the ideas you have that it's obvious you will never do anything with, well then hey, at least you'll know that you can't go on lying to yourself that you're a writer.

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  • 2 years ago

    Make a list of all the things which interest you, then you brainstorm with others to narrow it down to just one. But you make the call when it gets down to several. You're the boss, and your opinion counts more than all of them.

    Best of luck; Stay strong!

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