Fiction, Inspiration, Novel, Writing

When it rains, it pours

morton_saltI’m sure most of you recognize the Morton Salt logo. The second “it” in that catch phrase refers to the salt, but in this post title it refers to the number of story ideas I’ve had lately. A month ago, I lamented that I had no idea what to write next. Then I found some old notes I’d written for a story and decided to try expanding the idea to novel length. Soon after, NaHoCleMo started and I haven’t managed to write much.

What I have had time to do, while I’ve been cleaning, is think. In looking over the files on the disk I found “lost” in my supply closet, I saw how many of those stories or ideas were darker than what I’ve been writing in the past year and a half. And then I saw a good horror movie and now my mind is swirling with dark ideas. I had a new one just yesterday when I took a nap. Now I have to make a decision whether to develop one of those ideas as a horror novel or keep working on the literary novel I started. Another option is to keep working on the literary novel and develop some of the new ideas into short stories. Then, of course, I could just go back to my original plan to edit my first horror novel.

Yeah, when it rains, it pours. Tell me, how do you choose what to write next?

24 thoughts on “When it rains, it pours”

  1. I would advise you to write any horror idea you really like into a flash piece.
    Or several flash pieces with different endings or different emphasis on characterization or setting.
    That way you can be fleshing out your ideas without feeling like you’re tied to absolutely making any one of them into a novel RIGHT NOW.
    And….if they stand alone you can always submit them to lit mags.

    happy cleaning! [and idea gathering]



    1. Happy cleaning? That’s an oxymoron. 🙂

      Well, since my recently completed novel started life as a short story, I suppose it would be a logical choice for me to write up these ideas as flash or even shorts. I suspect that at least two of them will end up short stories anyway. Thanks for the suggestion.


  2. Great question, Linda. When the ideas are pouring, it is hard to decide. Recently, when I had the opportunity to write something new, for some reason I didn’t dig into my stack of ideas and notes. I wanted something entirely NEW so I just let my fingers do the writing. I think probably we choose to write the story that won’t let us not write it.

    On the other hand, remember that post about Stephen Dobyns a while back–he sat down and in one sitting wrote 60 first sentences. Later he went back to see how many he could turn into paragraphs and then pages…So basically he chose everything to write about and took each thing as far as it was interesting.

    Good luck!


    1. I really think that’s all I can do. Just see if the words come. And if not now, maybe later on that particular idea. It’s almost like I have a so many stories alloted me, because I almost never forget the idea. Sometimes it re-surfaces in my mind unbidden, sometimes I see it in my ideas folder and recall when and where the idea first popped into my head. They seem to just wait around for their turns.


      1. Not really. I didn’t want to admit it, but I’ve been crazy busy lately. I’m looking forward to tomorrow when I’ve actually alotted the whole day for writing (I didn’t want to make that announcement either because I didn’t want to sabatoge it the way Squidward sabatoges himself when he announces he’s got Sunday all to himself only to find Spongebob and Patrick at his door to ruin his day).


  3. I’ve only ever read one of your short stories, but it stuck with me (*shiver*). I’m not a good one for advice in this area. Until recently I was all over the place with my writing (working on three projects) , but then I decided to focus and go in chronological order. So now I work my first book and when it’s done I’m going to finish my second book and so on.


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