How to Decide Which Story Idea to Write Next: 7 Ways to Choose Your Perfect Story Idea

brainstorming writer's block
How to Decide Which Story Idea to Write Next: 7 Ways to Choose Your Perfect Story Idea

As a writer, one of the most exhilarating yet daunting decisions you'll face is selecting which story idea to pursue next. With many ideas vying for your attention, it can be challenging to determine which one has the potential to blossom into a captivating narrative. In this post, we'll explore seven strategies to help you navigate this crucial decision-making process and choose the perfect story idea that aligns with your creative vision and resonates with your readers!


How to choose the right story to write

Follow your passion

Passion is the driving force behind every great story. What do you want to write about? What gets you excited to sit down at your keyboard? When deciding which idea to pursue, consider which concept ignites your enthusiasm and curiosity the most. What themes, characters, or settings resonate with you on a personal level? By choosing a story idea that aligns with your passions and interests, you'll infuse your writing with authenticity and emotional depth, capturing the hearts and minds of your readers along the way.

Take some time to reflect on the stories that have inspired you in the past. What elements drew you in and kept you reading until the very end? Whether it's a particular genre, a compelling character archetype, or a thought-provoking theme, identifying the aspects of storytelling that resonate with you will guide you toward selecting a story idea that you're truly passionate about.

Consider your audience

While it's essential to write from the heart, it's also important to consider your ideal reader when deciding which story idea to write. Who are you writing for, and what type of stories do they enjoy? Understanding your audience's preferences and expectations will help you tailor your story idea to resonate with them while staying true to your unique voice and style.

Researching popular trends and emerging genres within your target demographic can provide valuable insights into what readers are currently craving. This is especially helpful when writing to market, or crafting stories that are in high demand. However, don't feel constrained by market trends—sometimes, the most memorable stories are those that defy expectations and offer a fresh perspective on familiar themes.

Explore your strengths

Every writer has unique strengths and areas of expertise. What do you most look forward to when you write a story? Whether you excel at crafting intricate plots, developing complex characters, or painting vividly detailed settings, it's essential to come up with a story idea that allows you to showcase your talents to the fullest extent.

Take stock of your writing strengths and consider how they align with each potential story idea. Are there certain themes or genres that play to your strengths as a writer? By selecting a story idea that complements your skills and expertise, you'll not only produce a more polished and engaging narrative but also enjoy the writing process more fully.

Experiment with genres

One of the most exciting parts of storytelling is the ability to explore a wide range of genres and narrative styles. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and experiment with ideas that push the boundaries of traditional genre conventions.

Consider the unique storytelling opportunities offered by different genres, from the fantastical realms of science fiction and fantasy to the gritty realism of crime fiction and thriller. Each genre has its own set of rules and conventions, but also ample room for innovation and creativity.

Test your story ideas

Before committing to a story idea, take the time to brainstorm and outline multiple concepts. Write a brief synopsis or a few sample chapters for each idea and see which one resonates the most with you. Solicit feedback from trusted friends, fellow writers, or writing groups to gain valuable insights and perspectives. You can even try writing the idea as a short story first, before you start writing it as a whole novel!

Working with a critique partner or beta readers can provide invaluable feedback on your story ideas, helping you identify strengths and weaknesses that you may not have noticed on your own. Pay attention to which ideas spark the most enthusiasm and excitement among your peers—these are often the ones worth pursuing further.

Trust your intuition

In the end, the most important factor in deciding on a story idea is listening to your instincts and intuition. Pay attention to the ideas that resonate with you on a deep, gut level—the ones that keep you awake at night with excitement and anticipation. What idea do you find yourself going back to over and over again? What story just won't let go until you've got it out of your head and onto paper? Listen to those subtle hints and silent beckoning. By balancing intuition with logical evaluation, you'll be better equipped to find your next project idea.

Trust that your instincts will guide you toward the story idea that is most aligned with your creative vision and personal values. While it's essential to seek feedback and advice from others, ultimately, you are the author of your own destiny—and your own stories.

Be flexible!

Writing is a dynamic and ever-evolving process, and your initial story idea may undergo significant changes as you delve deeper into the writing process. Be open to inspiration and willing to adapt your story idea as it evolves, taking advantage of unexpected plot twists and character developments along the way. As you write your first draft, you may discover that this isn't the story you want to pursue after all— and that's okay!

Remember that the journey of writing a novel is just as important as the destination. Embrace the creative process with an open mind and a willingness to explore new ideas and possibilities. By staying flexible and open-minded, you'll discover new depths to your story that you never imagined possible.

Ready to choose a story idea to write next?

Choosing the perfect story idea requires a delicate balance of passion, audience awareness, self-awareness, experimentation, and intuition. By following these seven strategies, you can confidently select the story idea that resonates with your creative vision and sets the stage for a compelling and unforgettable narrative.

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