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Thursday, March 8, 2012

More Author Insight: Choosing an Idea

How do you know which ideas are worth spending time on?

"The ideas that I can't stop thinking about, and when I bring them up to other people they go, 'ooh.'" - Bethany Griffin, author of Masque of the Read Death.

"The very small cocky party of me (as opposed to the gigantic insecure part) wants to say that if you’re creative enough, you can make any idea worth spending time on. It’s also extremely difficult to tell if an idea that seems great today will seem that way after living with it for years. Of course, it helps greatly now to have an agent and editor who are very opinionated about the worthiness of my ideas." - Barry Wolverton, author of Neversink.

"Knowing which ideas are worth spending time on isn't always easy, but it definitely helps having read a lot of books, knowing what else is out there, and having a good idea of what the target audience finds interesting. But the most important part is figuring out which story is calling to you the loudest and longest. Truly amazing ideas don't vanish after a couple days; they stay with you and nag your thoughts until you give in and start writing." - Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.
"I believe all ideas are worth spending time on, at least initially. You never know what genius brainstorm will evolve out of a not-so-genius idea. That said, I think it's important to know when to let go, too. If something is making me miserable, it's not worth spending time on - at least in its current incarnation." - Elizabeth Miles, author of Fury.

"I tend to gather ideas here and there…over time some of them glom onto each other and make a bigger idea. Sooner or later, one gets so big that I can’t ignore it." - Sarah Wilson Etienne, author of Harbinger.
"The ideas choose me, more than me choosing them. If it sticks… if I’m thinking about it in the car, at the grocery story, in the shower, then it’s a good one." - Veronica Rossi, author of Under the Never Sky.


"When an idea creates a flood of ideas and characters and scenes in my head, and won’t let go. When I had the idea for Cinder and The Lunar Chronicles I knew almost immediately that it was something I had to see through to the end, even though at the time I wasn’t sure if I had the skills required for a series as epic and complex as I had in mind." - Marissa Meyer, author of Cinder.

"You kind of have to trust your gut.  The ideas that hang around in your head haunting you (growing, morphing, learning how to walk and talk) tend to be the ones worth waiting for." - Jess Rothenberg, author of The Catastrophic History of You and Me.

"If you write beyond the premise and the story goes nowhere, then you know that you’ve reached a dead end, and it’s time to move on." - David Macinnis Gill, author of Invisible Sun.

"It’s the ones that make me excited to start working and wake me up in the middle of the night jotting down notes." - Beth Fantaskey, author of Jessica Rules the Dark Side.

"If I can’t stop thinking about an idea, it moves to the front of the line. The squeaky wheel absolutely gets the grease. - Mary Lindsey, author of Shattered Souls.

"It’s easy, the good ideas are the ones that won’t let go of you. They’re always in the back of your mind, you can’t shake them and the only cure is to dive in, let them take over and see where they lead you. - Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate.

"I don’t get that many ideas so I don’t have a lot of choice." - Jennifer Echols, author of The One That I Want.


"I don't have a ton of writing time, so I tend to work on the ideas that are the most fleshed out (or are due, or highest on the to-do list).  I jot down lots of notes on other story ideas so I can come back to them." - Suzanne Lazear, author of Innocent Darkness.

Find out Tuesday what quick and catchy comparison the authors use to describe their books!
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