Having taught college writing and as a writing consultant, I provide writing guidance for others. Sometimes, this comes in the form of editing and other times it consists of answering questions to help inspire or inform a writer. Recently, a writer asked me -how do you decide what to write next?
This is an interesting question. Specifically, the writer was trying to choose between several options. She had many ideas and she wanted to know what to write next among all the bright and shining options.
1) If you already have books published (either traditionally or as an indie author), choosing what to write next might be as simple as deciding what your readers would most like to read next or which book is next in your series.
For these next tips, let’s assume that your choice isn’t as obvious.
2) You can decide which book sounds the most appealing to you. Writing is work, yes. But, you should enjoy what you’re writing. Which book sounds like it would be the most fun to write?
3) Decide what to write next based on what you have just finished. In point one, this would imply the next book in a series. For this point, though, I’m talking more about variety. If you’ve just written a very detailed story, with many complications, it can be refreshing to write a more straightforward story after one that is so layered.
4) You can write for the season. If you know that a book is going to be in the summer, you may wish to write that in summer months, as your senses will be more attuned to the season. I tend to write in-sync with the seasons.
5) Another option if you’re really unsure is to write short stories. Perhaps, you’ll want to experiment with new genres. This can help with describing things in new ways or experimenting with a new form of storytelling. You could write a short story about each idea and see which resonates the most with you to continue writing.
6) Or, you could explore the stories via another form-photography, painting, etc- and see which is strongest to you.
7) Or, you could write down what you know about each idea so far-almost like a list or chart-and see which jumps out to you.
I hope these tips have been useful to help you decide what to write next or to inspire you to try something new in your writing. Being open to new possibilities helps make your writing shine.
My best to you all,
Megan Easley-Walsh is a writing consultant and editor as well as a writer. Extra Ink Edits strives to help writers improve their writing, by showing them what is good and helping them improve weaker areas by offering editing services for writers. Professional editing services on offer include: query critique, synopsis polish, beta reading for general impressions, full line and content edits. If you find yourself saying, “Help! I need to edit my novel!”, Megan would be honored to read your writing. http://www.the-writing-consultant.com