Monday, February 10, 2014

Ideas, Ideas, Ideas - Distraction in Disguise

Distractions come in many forms. When I sat down to think about my book and the plot summary, ideas started to come to me. I thought about at least a dozen other plots that I really like. One of them in particular could be a great book (which I plan to write after this current one). It is great to have all of these ideas come to you and your creative mind is working well. But there is a down side to this as well. From what I have read, this is a common distraction for writers and can lead to a form of writer’s block.

I have questioned my story plot on occasion, which is healthy. It is good to revisit this at times and I am sure that I will revisit it again over the next couple months. However, there was a time period of two straight days where I did nothing more than think of new ideas and change my plot. This caused everything that I wrote to be invalid or needing to be modified significantly. Do I have a better story for it? Absolutely. Was it necessary for me to do that? Probably. But I need to make sure that I do not do this every time that I revisit the plot summary or I will never finish a book.

What I am trying to say is that you will always have different ideas and different stories in your head. As you read more (always recommended), experience life, watch movies, or anything else that can provide inspiration, things change. Your thoughts and feelings change which causes your ideas to be different.

I have decided that the best way for me personally to deal with this is to write down everything that is an inspiration or an idea that I have before I sit down to write. Get it all out of my head and on paper. Ensure that I do not miss an idea and feel secure that I can let it go for now. It will be there to revisit later.

This has led me to clear my mind and get back into the story that I am writing. I can concentrate on what I am doing, but the ideas that I have did not go away. I have read on a couple of blogs where people have asked the question: If I am writing a story and come up with a better one, should I stop and write the other or try to write both at the same time? The advice given in the scenario is neither. It is best to write down all your thoughts on the other idea. This may be a couple sentences or a couple pages, but get it all down. Then go back and finish your original story.

Story hopping will kill you as a writer. You will not dedicate your full attention to the story you are writing. The readers deserve better and you should always demand the best of yourself. If you start a story, complete it. If you want to write something different, then write it. Just know that your chances of finishing a book are greatly diminished if you let yourself wander or be distracted by ideas.

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