Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Best Way to Have Good Ideas

The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas ~ Linus Pauling

No matter what dream journey or task that you’re focused on, you normally have to some sort of idea how to accomplish your task or tasks.  The best way to come up with a good idea is indeed to come up with a lot of ideas and then whittle them away until you come up with the best ones for the project for the moment.

On my dream journey of writing and publishing a novel, I have found out, the hard way, the value of good brainstorming sessions before setting out on the actual writing.  Now don’t get me wrong, fellow writers, I know there were times when just sitting down and pounding out the thoughts on my mind helped me push forward and get the novel finished.  But because I didn’t do enough outlining, there I’ve had some pretty long stops because I didn’t know where the story was going.  So my lesson learned was to do as much outlining and preparation up front so that the writing process was smooth and fluid.  By knowing exactly where the story was going, I was able to easily write 1000 words or more a week, some days I wrote as many as 2000 or 3000 words in one day alone.  And the other lesson I learned is that when I do get stuck or haven’t done my outlining, that it’s OK to take a step back and do more brainstorming to get the story moving along again.

And all along the way I am gathering new thoughts for future chapters and future novels.  During the writing of A Place to Call Their Own, I came up with the rough idea for five sequels (That’s why I like writing historical fiction, there’s usually a lot of history to write around), at least two non-fiction books, another trilogy, and a standalone story.  As the ideas started pouring in around the work in progress, I found more ideas that didn’t fit.  I just moved those notes elsewhere and those WIP’s are just waiting for me to work on them in the future.  And sometimes, I work on them instead of the primary WIP because I find some inspiration that I can’t sit aside with some notes.

So if you are trying to come up with some ideas, come up with as many ideas as you can.  You’ll find as you get going you’ll just keep coming up with more.  Take the ideas from the stories you read in the newspaper, online, and the novels you’re reading as well as TV shows and movies you’re watching.  Creative ideas to help you on dream journey are all around you!

What’s the most creative idea you’ve had lately?  I’d love to hear about it!

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