The ideas are constantly floating in and out of my head like the fish on those horrible screensavers (they are entirely too distracting). When one of them swims off-screen, it’s not usually lost, but taking a break before swimming back into view. Sometimes, they do die off, but it’s a rare occurrence, and the number of little fish being born every day make up for the occasional death. But when is the fish ready to be fried for supper?
…did I go to far with that metaphor? I might have; let me clarify.
For me, there are always ideas once I start paying attention to them floating about. Just in the month of May I doubled my reserve of ideas just because I started writing them down. However, there is a difference between having an idea and having an idea that’s ready for me to work with.
When are those ideas ready?
If I’m looking for a particular type of story, say I’m writing for a school assignment or some sort of contest, then I just look for ideas that fit the prompt and go from there. Unfortunately, if I don’t have one that fits it means I have to brainstorm, which doesn’t often result in my best stories.
Otherwise, I look for the first story idea that I like. If it sparks anything good, then I’m ready to try it out for a few days unless I need to write then and there. I brainstorm a few ideas, and see how it works out when I start to outline or write. It’s not a perfect system, but it works much more often than it doesn’t.
How do you know an idea’s ready for writing? Are you like me with a list ready to review or do you have to wait each time for the right idea to cross your mind? I’d love to know.