Too Many Stories

I am overflowing with ideas. It has got to the point where every time I flesh out a story I’ve already plotted, two things happen: I link it to another story by virtue of a detail which is minor in one and major in the other; and I get a brand new idea for another story.

My current list of stories I’ve plotted and haven’t written (sadly all of the plotted ones are in this category, though I’m working on it) is now over a hundred strong. Seriously.

I’ve got absolutely zero idea of how to make it stop, short of forcing myself (somehow) to only write one thing at a time… but I get bored. I get bored very easily. One might say I’ve the attention span of a gnat. It irritates my other half no end, especially when we’re watching TV.

Back to topic, I have even found a way around worldbuilding each one: they’re all set in the same place. The world of Far, dreamt up long ago in the dark ages when I was a teenager and the dinosaurs were alive (my son has genuinely asked if I had a pet dinosaur), is now richly furnished with a full history, spanning some three ages (that I’ve bothered to plot) and a few massive events.

Without the need to build the history for each story, I tend to find that plotting is quick and easy, which is a bad thing in this case because I need a motivation NOT to do this and focus on getting something written instead. I can’t even try for a word count, because despite being immensely good with words, I both write sparsely and never linearly. How am I supposed to work out when I’m getting near to finishing?

Option 1 is to plot down to the scene level; once I have a list of scenes which need to be written, I can check off against the master list (something yWriter is especially good at) and see what there is left to do.

Option 2 is to write in order, from start to finish, no matter how horrible it is, and see if I can’t make it better with practice. I’m primarily against this approach because it might just spawn too many more ideas, which is obviously a big problem for me. The other issue is that I tend to both create new characters (who then have their own plots and backstories) and change the focus of the story. This renders all my nice plotting irrelevant.

I have a strong feeling I’ll be focusing on option 1. Keep checking in to watch me bash my head against a wall.


1 Comment

  1. A hundred stories plotted, and a rich rich world built, apparently. That’s impressive. I can understand wanting to write at least one complete novel from beginning to end. Maybe it’s time to let your characters take over. No more plotting. “Wake up” a few of your favorite characters and set them loose. Let them plot the next story. And tell yourself you’re not allowed to get bored!


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