The last post I did about the writer’s process introduced the steps involved and talked about catching the idea.
Catching the idea
Evaluating the idea
Growing the idea
Reading the draft
Revision and self editing
Critique group feedback
Rewriting or recreating
<<GO TO Critique group feedback, if needed>>
Evaluating the Idea
You have an idea which you think would make a great story. How do you know if this is something you should work on? What about your extensive list of other story ideas? Maybe this one doesn’t stack up to the others you already have.
Let’s look at a few questions you can ask yourself to help you evaluate your idea.
Can you imagine working on this idea (researching, writing, revising, etc.) for the next month, six months, over the next year or even beyond?
Let the idea sit in your idea file for one week. Revisit it and ask yourself: How passionate are you about working on this? Did you think of it over the past week? How often?
Is this an idea that you might outgrow?
How easy would it be for you to walk away from it?
Looking over your list of story ideas, is there another one that’s more burning than this one?
Is this an idea that you find WORTH your TIME?
Maybe you have what you feel is a great story idea, but something is holding you back. What’s going on? What might be frightening or overwhelming about it that is keeping you from moving forward?
And you do have a list of story ideas, don’t you? Do you prioritize these? Which ones might you put under HOT? Under TIMELY? Under I HAVE TO DO THIS NOW? THESE CAN WAIT? MAYBE WHEN I’M 70?
Revisit your story idea list often. Re-evaluate your priorities.
NOTE: Sometimes we become attached to ideas that are not right for us. Don’t be afraid to put that idea away for one that is something that puts a fire under you, propelling you to go forth and conquer the story.
Questions for today: What questions do you ask about your story ideas to make a decision to put words on paper? How do you find this a helpful step in your writing process? (If you don’t evaluate your story idea, is this something you might consider adding?)