Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Part 1 of 6 Publishing Hurdles - where do your ideas come from?

Getting published, either self-published or traditional, is difficult.  It requires hours upon hours of hard work, and it is a long path few people successfully achieve.

In August last year, I wrote a popular blog post titled: The Perpetual Bell Curve of Becoming a Published Writer.  I wrote it on a whim, when I looked at the rocky road to becoming published, and realized it looked like a bell curve--or a series of them, almost like a wave.

I decided to take the bell curve scenario now and chop it up, examining each piece in individual posts.  I came up with at least 6 "hurdles."

The first hurdle is coming up with an idea.

Everyone gets ideas.  There isn't a person I know who hasn't said at one time or another, "Man, I've got this great idea for a book!"

But here's the problem: they did nothing with the idea.  The first hurdle is taking the idea and forming it into a story.

What if vampires invaded a small New England town and took it over?  Enter Stephen King's Salem's Lot.  What if a young lawyer, fresh out of law school, was hired by a law firm who happened to do business with the mob?  Enter John Grisham's The Firm.  What if a young orphan boy discovered his parents were wizards--and he is too!  Enter J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.

These ideas are simple.  And there's nothing stopping you from creating your own.  Here's an exercise: take a blank sheet of paper and sit somewhere (preferably not at your computer) and write down 20 story ideas.  Do this for a week--not including weekends.  You'll end up with 100 story ideas.  I listened to a podcast recently where the author forced himself to come up with a new story idea every single day.  Including weekends.

You also need to make it easy to write down your ideas.  Put them in your Smartphone, write them on a piece of paper, text it to yourself, e-mail it to yourself.  I have a TASK feature on my phone, and that's where I story a lot of my ideas.

What tricks have you used to keep track of your ideas?  Please feel free to leave a comment.  Also, if you have any brainstorming tips, I'd love to read about it.

No comments:

Post a Comment