Monday, May 8, 2017

Picking the good ideas

It's an interesting subject.

Picking the good ideas and how you know they're good ideas.

I wish I had a pat answer for that one that actually worked.

here's the thing: You never know. I've got forty plus novels under my belt. I've got three or four unfinished works that I will, eventually, get back to, and I've got several proposals that have never gone past chapter three or four.
]Every one of them seemed like a good idea at the time and believe me, I intend to finish full novels in the pitches that never went anywhere, because O consider them very good ideas that have simply not met the right publishers as yet. Worst case scenarios, I'll publish them myself.

Once upon a time I wrote a book called POSSESSIONS and followed up with the sequel, RABID GROWTH, There are people who say they are among my best work and others who thing they suck wind. The publisher never wanted the third book in the series.

Same thing with my Young Adult set: SUBJECT SEVEN and the sequel RUN, were supposed to be an ongoing series the sales did not agree and the publisher decided to stop. Sooner or later I'm going to get the rights back and finish the series. because the story is not finished.

What makes one story work when another doesn't?

Not a freaking clue. I can't say it's the writing, because it's the same writer.  MAYBE the storyline in one is better. Maybe the publishers did a better job of marketing. Maybe they cover art is just that much better (Yes, cover art makes  a difference. a HUGE difference in some cases.) Is it timing? Did one book sound too much like another or not enough like the flavor of the week?

My answer to this is simple: You know when it's done. Every idea seems incredible to me when I'm thinking about it. the possibilities are endless. It's the passion for the ideas that inspires me to write them in the first place. I almost never outline. I hate coming up with series proposals. I'd rather sit and write than consider how it should be written. The ideas are there.

Actually I know one certain way to know the difference. If someone comes up tome and wants me to write the novel based on their idea so we can split the profits 50/50 I can basically guarantee you that the idea they're thinking is so great is not something that would ever work for me. Twenty-five years of doing this and inevitably someone will come along and think that's the best idea ever. My usual suggestion is that they sit down and write their own stories. I phrase that just as politely as I can.