Believe me when I say I know exactly how hard it is to pick an idea for a book. It can be a nightmare. Here’s how I made choosing a book idea much easier.
Something a lot of writers struggle with when they want to write a book is choosing a book idea. They have all these thoughts and ideas for random books but don’t know which to develop and which to tackle.
I’ve been there. It took me a LONG time to pick an idea for my book and even then, I was tempted by other ideas that found my mind. I’m the type of person who has notebooks (3, actually) filled with ideas for entire books.
But I can’t write them all at the same time. I wouldn’t make any progress whatsoever if I did that. That’s why I want to help you out with choosing a book idea. Here’s what I did in order to pick which idea was worthy of my craftsmanship and why you should never trash any old ideas – at all. Hoard all those notebooks.
1. Decide which you’re most passionate about.
There will always be an idea that speaks to you the most. You’ll get giddy thinking about it. You’ll act like a crazy person when talking about it. Overall, you’ll just feel like you’re connected to one idea over all others. You could like other ideas just as much, but there will always be one that stands out. Pick that one.
2. Which do you have the most ideas for?
Do you have one idea that is far more developed than the others? If so, that’s a good place to start. When you have more material for one idea over the others, it’s very clear that you’ve thought about it the most. It’s bigger in your mind and you’ve spent the most time thinking about it. This also means it’ll be easier for you to develop further, too.
3. Pick the one with the strongest characters in your mind.
The characters are really what make the book, in my opinion. So even if you barely have any ideas for a book but you have a main character or two that are basically screaming out at you to write them, then do that. Choosing a book idea is a lot about choosing which characters you connect with the most because those are the ones that’ll feel the most real to you and to your readers, too.
Why You Should Never Get Rid of Old Book Ideas
I look back on some of my book ideas in notebooks and just get embarrassed. I really thought this would be interesting? What’s wrong with me? <— Actual thoughts I had. But I never get rid of them for some very good reasons.
1. You can use bits and pieces.
Many of your little ideas can be used within a larger one. Even if you have one sentence of dialogue or just a description of a random place, keep them. You never know what you’ll be able to use and how it can impact a bigger piece.
2. They can inspire fresh ideas.
I love going back and reading my old book ideas. Sure, some of them aren’t anything I would write anymore, but they do inspire fresh ideas. They can get your imagination turning and that can help you come up with new stuff that speaks to you more.
3. You’ll regret not being able to look back on them.
All of your little book ideas are part of you as a writer. They’re part of your journey. Even if you never, ever use any piece of an idea you once had, you’ll regret not being able to look back and on them. So keep all of the little ideas you’ve had. You never know what they could mean to you.
Choosing a book idea is not easy by any means. That said, I hope my process and how I was able to pick my book idea will help you choose an idea. So flip through your various ideas and get to writing!