I’ve admitted to you before how frequently I come up with new story ideas.But not all seeds have what it takes to root and develop into a beautiful potted plot. I wrote a post about how I whittle my ideas down as a process of testing them to see if they’ll make it over the long haul here.
Today I’m highlighting eight indicators an idea is strong enough to last:Relevance Factor
Is there something about the theme, subject matter, or main conflict that evokes immediate recognition, feeling, or resonance in our contemporary culture? In the news? A well-known event? Something I’m intrigued to learn more about (a must)?
Head TalkWhen characters start playing out conversations in my mind I’m inclined to reach for a pen and start taking notes. This also occurs a little later in the plotting stages and tends to signal to me a loyalty to move ahead. It’s a major score for a writer. Yes, my characters will talk to me.
Plot Twists & Conflict FlourishPlans for directions the novel could take begin to jut off like streaming estuaries as opposed to dry up like cracks in the desert. Love when this happens!
That First Date FeelingI reach the point where I’m so fascinated I want to ask a million questions. I must know more.
Wake up ExcitedTo unravel the story.
Can’t Sleep ExcitedTo unravel story. Enter pen and paper by my bed for middle of the night jottings.
Depth PotentialDoes this idea have the potential to stir up something deep within me? If so, I explore it further. If not, I shut it down.
Off the Charts EmpathyThis is one of my favorite stages of writing—when my main character becomes “alive” and I begin to “feel” what she’s feeling. I know a novel has what it takes to stick around if my protagonist is churning this kind of reaction in me.
It seems like not much has staying power these days. Technology changes faster than I can finish this sente… Loyalty is hard to come by. But I’m loyal through and through. I’m also discerning. It pays when I evaluate the stories that are worth my time and energy.
How do you assess whether something has staying power in your life?
*photo by stock.XCHNG