|Photo credit: qisur on Flickr|
Many writers will eventually find that they have more ideas than they know what to do with. Their idea box is overflowing with scraps of paper begging to be remembered or their brains are bursting at the seams with stories that could be interesting to pursue.
But how do you know if any of those ideas are novel-worthy?
I came across this tweet the other day via @4KidLit that I thought summed it up particularly well:
Good ideas stay with you until you eventually write the story. ~ Brian Keene #writing #amwriting
— YA Lit (@4KidLit) March 27, 2012
It really is that simple.
Writers will encounter thousands of ideas within a lifetime—snippets of an image, fragments of a character, a haunting scene, interesting line of dialogue or intriguing thought—and no one has enough time to turn every idea into a novel. But the truth is, not every idea has enough substance to be turned into a fully plotted story, and that's ok.
Because the ideas that are novel worthy demand to be written. While other ideas fade with time, a novel-worthy idea will haunt you day and night. Rather than disappearing with time, it'll grow and develop into something complex, something that can't be ignored, something that has to be written.
Those are the ideas that you need to pursue.
Writing a novel is tough. It takes months, even years to turn a first draft into a polished, readable story and throughout that time if you aren't passionate about your idea, the novel will never reach completion. Writing a novel is an exhausting thing, which is why those other ideas, those non-novel-worthy ones will fade with time. Because if the idea hasn't fully captivated the writer, there's little chance it'll contain the spark it needs to captivate the reader.
So next time you're unsure whether or not your latest idea is novel worthy, give it some time. You'll know it's right when the idea refuses to leave you alone.
Writers: how do you tell if an idea is novel worthy?