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Maureen Kauzlarich

Children's Author

Too Many Book Ideas

 

What to do with too many promising book ideas. “They’re all really great, I swear!” says the muse.

 

Keep a notebook of titles

When ideas spring out of the well that is your brain, use a notebook like a bucket to scoop them up. One way is to write a title down. Keep a list of the titles every time a new idea for a book surface. Coming up with a title (that can change later) will trigger the memory of the ideas whenever you see it written down. This works well when you haven't written anything yet because there are too many ideas to choose from. The ones that resonate the most when looking at the list can help with starting a book project. Tip: It doesn’t have to be titles. Any sequence of words that helps you remember an idea works fine.

 

Write down scenes

If you've already started writing a book and you’re absolutely and ferociously intent on sticking to one project, write down the scene that keeps coming to you. This especially works when a different story constantly pops up in your mind. Getting it out will relieve your jumbled head and you can go back to the current idea you're working on. It's like scooping out the random change that keeps dropping into the fountain.

 

Go ahead, write more than one story

Sometimes the dam can't turn off. There's nothing wrong with working on two books at a time. Sure, it may take longer, but then once one book finishes the other one is already close behind. This is great when one of your stories is short (like a picture book) and the other one is long (like a young adult novel). It notoriously works when you get stuck in one story because you can go over to the other one! Sometimes the creative juices flow from one to the other and back again, like the same body of water that flows from different streams.

 

Different Stages, Different Mediums

Sometimes the dam breaks and you've got an abundance of ideas that flood your brain. It's possible to control the flow. If you decide to work on more than two books, a good way to stay organized is to put them in different stages and formats. One book may stay in the idea stage where you write down scenes that crop up from time to time, while another is the main project that you write on the computer each day, and another is a shorter project that is best kept in a sporadic notebook. Tip: The main book has a deadline while the others do not. Putting different books in dissimilar mediums, like one in a notebook and the other in a word document, keeps them always looking like . . . like fresh water.

 

(While we’re still on water analogies, writing many stories at different times is also like turning on and off lots of faucets. No? Okay, I’m done with comparisons then. I’ll leave this quote here: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” ~Author Louis L’Amour)

 

Conclusion:

Going from listing ideas, trying to stick to one project, or writing a multitude of books is all a part of being a writer with too many good ideas. What works for one writer may not work for another. In other words, write to your heart's content even if other ideas come along. Don't let them stop you by writing titles or quick scenes down. Otherwise, embrace them and organize a way to write more than one book at a time.

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