This post was written specifically for the #AuthorToolboxBlogHop.

I’m going to start off by repeating myself, and repeating something I said in a previous Toolbox post to boot. At the time, I said that ideas will come to you, regardless of whether they fit with your WIP or not. So, if they don’t fit, what do you do with them?

I’m also going to make a broad assumption, that if you’re a writer, you’re going to be extremely reluctant to dispose of anything. Editing a finished manuscript is one thing, but getting rid of something new, something that you might want to develop somewhere down the line? To be honest, my eye is twitching at the thought of it.

What I’ve heard others do, and what I’m starting to do myself, is to keep a file of all the random ideas and pieces of prose. It could be a notebook or a folder in your computer but you should have some means of keeping these bits and pieces. Look at it this way, take a few minutes to save something, I you might also save your a few days worth of self-recrimination for losing it. You might now, but what has it cost you to do so?

The second part is to review your file every so often. Maybe when you’re between projects, maybe if you’re stuck, maybe if you just want something to kill a random hour. Take a look through and see if anything jumps out at you. You may have the idea for your next work and not even know it.

Don’t forget to read the other Author Toolbox blogs, just click the icon below. 

Nano Blog and Social Media Hop2

6 Comments

  1. Yep. This is exactly what I do. I have a notebook for blog ideas and a notebook for book ideas. If a book idea is elaborate (even if I’m not anywhere near ready to write it), it gets its own notebook. I had one notebook for two years before I finally got around to writing the book. I’ve got another notebook I’ve been sitting on for a year and think it will be at least two more before I get around to writing that book.

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  2. I think this is a great idea: “What I’ve heard others do, and what I’m starting to do myself, is to keep a file of all the random ideas and pieces of prose.” I keep drafts of my work, too, just in case I decide to use something I’ve cut later. And in my WIP, I have a parking lot at the end of the manuscript where I plunk things that I think don’t fit, but I can CTRL+F them later if I decide to read over those ideas and maybe re-integrate them later. I change my mind a lot! Thanks for sharing =)

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  3. I’ve got bits and pieces in a notes folder on my phone, in hard-copy notebooks, and in a writing inspiration folder not just on one computer but two! It would stress me out if I told myself I had to organize it all, lol. Great post!

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  4. I definitely try to save everything. If it’s a new idea it goes in my ideas journal immediately before it slips away. I like the idea of saving prose for later use except that I find that the process of rewriting always makes it stronger. Perhaps in the future when my writing style is a bit more developed I’ll be able to save prose for future work. Right now I’m in the habit of backing up every version of my WIP so I have the finished drafts if I ever need them.

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  5. This is exactly what I do! I write down every idea I have in a Note on my iPhone, and also email myself ideas all the time. You’re right, in that when I’m in need of a new WIP idea, I always consult this list. Good reminder to keep it updated and fresh. Thanks for sharing!

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