As we wrap up the themed Ideas Week, we take one last look at arguably the hardest part of writing.
That’s right. Today we will learn how to discard a bad idea.
As a writer, I know how easy it is to get excited about new ideas. I also know the joys and pains of taking an idea through to final draft.
One of the hardest things to do, though, it to get an idea, nurture it and formulate it, only to have it turn into crap.
This became a huge point in the Extra Draft Writing Method course. I’ve spent years creating and formulating the writing process to make it as streamlined as possible.
Spending time and effort on a story that just isn’t going to work is disheartening. We want all of our ideas to be great, turn into best sellers and make us famous.
The problem, though, is that this won’t happen.
Unfortunately, the harsh truth is that most of your ideas will end up being shit. On top of that, the longer you work on them before you realize this, the more discouraging the writing craft becomes.
The best thing to do is learn to identify bad ideas long before you put a lot of time and effort into them. Which is what we will do in today’s writing prompt.
Using the lessons from this week’s writing prompts and the Ideas Week themes, create a list of at least 10 new story ideas. Then, go through and find a reason to discard each of them.
This prompt can be easy. It isn’t hard to come up with 10 trash ideas. However, I want you to really challenge yourself here.
Come up with 10 ideas that you would honestly see yourself trying to write out into a full length novel.
Once you have the 10 ideas, follow the writing prompt from the 19th and ask your questions and give your answers, trying to “break” the idea. Once you break the idea, cross it off and discard it forever.
Continue on until you can discard all 10. You want to get into this habit of realizing that every idea you get will need to be extremely special before you put any real effort into it.
As a writer, unless you only plan to write a single book, you will have more ideas than there are days in an average life time.
99.99% of those ideas will be garbage. If you can see them as that long before you spend weeks or months trying to develop them, you will save a lot of time. Plus, the real reward, is that the ideas you do work on will be viable, worthwhile and exciting.
Once you get through your 10 ideas, post in the comments about how easy or difficult you found it to be. Was it a chore to discard 10 story ideas? What made it difficult for you?