Selection – Where do we go from here?
Following from Step 3 of the formula, Generating Ideas, let’s assume we’re looking at a list of possible stories. We’ve identified what we want from our story, possibly where we’d like to see it published, and have an idea of a word count goal, whether it’s a short, a novella, a flash piece, or a POCS (Penguin of Considerable Size, aka Magnum Opus).
So now what?
Simple. Start writing.
Okay, but which idea do I choose?
Fortune advises us:
Withhold judgment on your ideas for a couple of days. Then give them a careful review and pick one. The trick here is to make a decision and proceed. Remember that you can make any of the other ideas at a later date. If you procrastinate, you don’t learn anything.
I’ll add that you don’t get anything written either. Be honest now. Who’s been here? *raises hand*
My file of Unattended Ideas waits like an attic full of mysterious whatsits. It’s frightening to contemplate treading around in there looking for inspiration. What happens if I choose the wrong one and it goes nowhere? Will I suddenly lose the inspiration that could have been had by choosing another?
I don’t remember where I first came across this image by Candace Bowen Early, but it sums things up perfectly. If you have a story started, go write. If you don’t, pick an idea and start writing. If you’ve just finished a story, congratulate yourself and reward yourself (I usually go with chocolate, though a fine single malt works, too, and especially if writing the story left you feeling well spent.)
When the rewards are gone, the congratulations over with, the phone call to Mom and Dad at a close. Go back into the attic. Open a box. Take out the idea there. Dust it off if you have to.
And start writing.
*Special Promotion: First comment to identify the Steampunk Easter Egg I’ve included here gets a signed copy of Machina Mortis: Steampunk’d Tales of Terror, which includes my story, The Three Blind Men.