Starting Something New

I always approach the end of a book with a flood of ideas for the next project. Sometimes it's the next book in the series, often times its a completely unrelated story. As I'm putting the final touches on #demoncity (not the real title, just what you know of it) I'm falling into the starry sky of another story.

Usually I can jot down a few notes and put the idea to stew a little longer.

I don't think I can do that this time around.

This story is special. This idea is not just shiny and new, its been brewing in my mind for a little over a year now, but its perhaps the most meaningful thing I've ever attempted to write.

However, I'm not quite done with #demoncity. It still needs a good ending. It still needs that fine polish.

So how do I know if a new idea is worth keeping?

I test it. I give it a push off the cliff and see if it flies.

I talk to people about the concept, the characters, the conflict.

-- Is the idea fascinating? Do people sort of frown and nod or do they get excited and contribute their own imagination to the base idea I've just laid out?

--Do the characters leap to life? Do they have jokes to tell right at the start? Are they ready to live on the page? If they are forced and boring, yeah, its not ready.

--And the conflict. Does it make people rally? Does it inspire people? How high are the stakes, even just these unexplored levels, do they frighten the people you describe them to?

If so, maybe its a good idea. It might be a great idea.

Who knows?

All we can do is write and see.