How To Choose A Story Idea

Published on 29 November 2021 at 15:40

Welcome back to Write With Pia Sophia!

Having story ideas is one of the most exciting aspects of being a writer. Story ideas often come up in the most unusual places and at the most random times. For example, I once got a story idea when I saw a lipstick-stained cigarette butt lying on the streets. My mind instantly imagined scenarios about whose cigarette butt this was and how it ended up right in front of my feet on my way home. Did a busy businesswoman quickly finish a cigarette on her way to a meeting? Did someone dress up for the first time in forever and stress-smoke right before a long-anticipated date? Was it something darker? I love it when these random story ideas come up, but sometimes it can be difficult to decide which story idea to work with. 

That's what I'm going to talk about today: how to choose a story idea. First of all, and this is important: write every single story idea down! It doesn't matter how silly it may sound at first (like in my cigarette butt example), but trust me, it's not. Because even if you don't plan on writing an entire novel about every single story idea you have, every story you write is good practice! I, personally, carry a hardcover notebook with me to scribble every random idea in, but you don't have to do that if you don't want to. Anything and everything that you can use (and aren't likely to lose) is good. 

After a while, if you're anything like me, you'll have a nicely uncoordinated hodgepodge of ideas in your little notebook. Then what? It's likely that the story ideas have simmered in your head for a while by now. You're ready to write! But which story idea are you going for? What always helps me is to look at the entire list and listen to my gut when deciding which one I'm going for. There is always one idea that sparks you the most joy in that moment, and trust me, that's the one to go for!

Now you have decided which story idea you want to go with, now it's time to see if it's indeed worthwhile. What I like to do is to imagine the theme of the story, the characters (villains and heroes!) and the setting, before I start putting anything on paper. This process might take a while, sometimes even a few weeks or months. And that's okay! This is a fun part! Take your time and let the story grow in your subconscious. 

Once you've imagined who your original story idea is about, what the setting of the story is and what you want the theme of the story to be, it's time to start writing. Have fun and above all, trust the process! You got this.

Do you need help developing your idea? Please feel free to contact me!

- Pia Sophia

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