The Big Question(s)

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once upon a time


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Today, I thought I’d write about answering a question that I believe is worth pondering.  It’s a big question for writers, so it deserves significant debate.  What’s the question then?

If you are writing a book and you get a new, and possibly better, idea for a book, should you stop writing your current book to pursue this new idea?

I have heard it from a couple sources that yes, you should write the other, new book, if the idea seems really good and could create a better story.  To a certain extent, this makes sense; why waste your time continuing to write a book that is lesser in comparison to a greater book that you could be writing?  Why not embrace this new and better idea?

I believe that, under certain circumstances, this notion is very valid.  If you’re writing a book that you find to be very boring, a book idea that you once thought was great but now don’t even like, then stop wasting your time.  If a new idea comes around, one that you think you can take all the way, then drop the boring story and focus on the exciting one.  Whatever captures your imagination, go with that; don’t settle for anything less.   Writing has to be something you enjoy if you want to do it well.  So why write something that you don’t enjoy?

On the other hand, suppose you’re writing a book and you love the story.  You love the characters.  You think about this book every day.  And then a new idea comes along; it seems more magnificent than the book that you’re currently writing.  You have a sudden desire to jot this new idea down.  Maybe you can work on both this new story and the old one.  Or maybe the new one deserves your undivided attention.  What should you do?

This has happened to me several times; from the time when I was ten years old to the present time.  I can’t say that you shouldn’t go with the new and better idea when it comes, but if I had done that, TSOM would most likely be a forgotten document on my computer.  I stuck with TSOM the whole while, throughout all my years of writing.  Not because it necessarily interested me more than a different idea at some point in time, but because I felt that I had to stick with it.  I had to persevere.  Thanks to the support of family and friends, I also continued to rediscover why I liked TSOM so much.  That being said, let me give you some advice, or a piece of knowledge that I find to be very true:

When others find your writing exciting and interesting, it makes you rediscover how awesome it is to you.

Gather the opinions of others.  Let them read a bit of your story.  Let them share their thoughts with you.  Rediscover your own,  God-given brilliance.   And persevere.  Maybe this isn’t your style to stick with one idea,  but it worked for me.  And I believe that, because I persevered with TSOM, I have also shaped my personality so that I can persevere in other areas of my life.  This brings me to my last point.

Your writing says a lot about who you are.  What does your writing say about you?



8 thoughts on “The Big Question(s)

    julieallyn said:
    August 17, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    While I’ve yet to even consider writing a book / novel, the first thought that popped into my head was to pose yet another question: is there a way to incorporate the new idea into what you’re currently working on?

      Aul responded:
      August 17, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      Ah that’s a good question. First we must consider if the new idea can even efficiently be incorporated into the original story. If the idea cannot be properly modified, then it can’t be applied to the original story. I mean, it depends what the new idea is. Is the new idea a super deep and well-thought-out murder mystery? Can that be inserted into a fantasy novel? Sure, it’s definitely possible. Will this murder mystery in the fantasy novel make sense? Only if the writer is skilled enough to make it make sense.

      I’m not sure if this answers your question. In theory, you are right, the new idea can be incorporated into the original idea. But sometimes the new idea won’t fit and will remain better standing alone. Don’t forget that you can write more than one story…I’m just saying that you shouldn’t give up on a good idea just because another one seems more attractive.

    proverbs31teen said:
    August 17, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Great post. I know I have plenty of story ideas, and choosing the right one to work on next is a big problem for me. 😉

      Aul responded:
      August 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

      Thank you!

    K. Caffee said:
    August 17, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Does it count when you’re in the middle of a hefty project, and you get hit over the head with an idea for a SECOND hefty project? ::Grins:: Facing that delimma at the moment. One series underway, and a second series starting to shape up.

    Right now, I’m lucky – I get to work on both, but it can be a little troublesome, because the two sagas shouldn’t really cross paths, except in the most fleeting instances. (And, probably will in the later books of the first series or middle book of the second… that is still under debate.)

    Good question, however! Keep up the great thought provoking ideas.

      Aul responded:
      August 18, 2014 at 6:06 PM

      Like I said, I think it’s better to stick with the hefty project and see it through before you take on another hefty project…one will most likely win out over the other eventually, and it very well may be the second one. Then, the first one, which you have already been working on, will be left in the dust.

    triplec97 said:
    August 17, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    I have bounced around between different novels through junior high and early high school. As of right now, I am actually focusing on the original series I had started back in fifth grade in 2007. I think that I knew all along that it was the right series for me, but I tried everything else anyway.

      Aul responded:
      August 18, 2014 at 6:07 PM

      Hey, so long as you arrive at the destination, whatever paths you took to get there no longer matter. At least you found the book you were meant to write!

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