What to Do When the Ideas Won’t Stop Coming

So, I already have four stories on my plate at the moment. I’ve got The Monster in My Garden Shed, The Not-So-Super Superhero, the second in the Nickel and Dime series–this needs a name, but I’ll figure that out later, it’s one of those books–and another one.

Why then, with all of these stories going, do I have to have a bunch more ideas come to me? I’ve already got more than I can work on at the moment, and I’ve got notebooks and folders and files full of things I’ve started and not completed. One of them I picked up late last night and read over, realizing that, aside from the one part of it, there is absolutely no reason why it shouldn’t be done. I’ve got the beginning written and typed, most of the middle is handwritten or in notes, and the tail end is written as well. This thing should be done. No excuses, really.

So now I find myself wanting to do that.

I also want to start a brand new one that has a very fascinating (to me, at least) concept. Involves aliens and memories and was probably partially inspired by stuff from The Monster in My Garden Shed. This idea is dying to be written.

I don’t have time to do all of these things, though. I barely have enough time to write on the three major pieces, so I need to clear my plate a little before adding in something new.

I sometimes allow for rotation when I have a new story, but as I’m already in a rotation with stories, I can’t add a new one until one of the others completes. The Monster in My Garden Shed doesn’t want to cooperate with me on that, since it keeps adding in something I have to deal with before the end of it can come, and it’s still not clear what that end is. The Not-So-Super Superhero is in its second act, where Clayton is trying to make use of his power and make a life for himself instead of fighting it, and now he’ll have to fight against other people instead. That may mean it’s closer to a conclusion, but I’m not actually sure how long it will take to resolve all of that, either. The second Nickel and Dime is coming along, but it’s not ready to conclude yet. The other story is done, but can I really add another one in already? I don’t get to the ones that I’ve got enough as it is.

And what of the one that should be complete and isn’t?

And all the ones that I should type?

Well, I have some options. I write the idea down, and I might come back to it later. I might give it a scene or two, thinking I’ll get back to it in a while. This usually doesn’t work. If I don’t “run” with the story when it’s fresh, it doesn’t usually happen. Any Other Reality is an exception to this. It was put off for months, not started, and written in less than a month. Still, it’s an exception, not a rule.

The other option, and I do this with stories I know I don’t want to put down on paper, is to picture it in my head over and over until it’s done. I can “watch” the movie of the story and I’ve seen it. If I’ve gotten it to its conclusion, there are very few stories that I’m willing to write after that point. I’ve seen all the interesting parts. It’s done.

This new idea is not one to give to a mind movie, though, so it just might have to find a way to be a part of the rotation.

Not enough time, and always too many stories. That’s the nature of a writer, though, right?

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