My article, The Distraction of New Ideas, part one is up at Some Write it HOT!
Man, this situation aggravates me so much some times. On the other hand, I’m never, ever short on ideas. 🙂
I’ve pasted it below, mostly for posterity.
This happens to me almost every day. There I am, kids are in bed, dog is walked, i.e. distractions are at a minimum and I am ready to write. I open the document and…I remember this idea I had for a story this afternoon, involving a car which crashed into a pool, a were who is deathly afraid of swimming and…
It’s like the donkey in Shrek jumping up and down yelling ‘Pick me! Pick me!’
NO! I need to stick to my story, right?
For me the answer is yes, and no. One of the reasons I write is I’m always thinking of scenarios and stories which pivot around an odd thing I’ve seen in real life. Like the cop standing in the paper recycling dumpster at the dump or the ambulance which did a u-turn in a forest preserve, sirens and lights blaring, then pulled over to the side and parked.
I simply can’t help but wonder why? And then scenes and scenarios build and, well, I’m off on a tangent which is not my always helpful in my quest to finish my current work.
However, I don’t want to loose these ideas, some I can use now, others I’ll use later, so before I start on my current project, if there’s an idea incessantly demanding attention, I open my ‘story ideas’ document. And save a note, perhaps the scene with three or four tag line ideas as to why it happened or a short paragraph if there’s a more solid story racing around.
That’s it. NO MORE.
Then, with newest idea is no longer floating on the top of my head and distracting my attention, I can get back to work on my current story.
Not everyone does this. Some people are ruthless and ignore the ideas, or make a really, really short mental note and continue forward with their work in progress.
How do you deal with new story ideas interrupting your current work?