Tiffany Freebie Forest, Idea Cove, Steps Leave a Comment

It’s that time again: time to write another novel!

The first problem I run into, time and again, when starting a new manuscript is deciding which story concept, out of all of my great ideas, is worth taking the time to write.

When I have ten really good ideas…how do I know which one I should dedicate the next three months of my life creating?

Which story idea will provide me with enough:
plot twists,
interesting characters,
emotional upheaval,
and charisma,
so I can make it to the end without having to crawl through the Writer’s Trench in desperation, grasping at any connective tissue I can muster to see the story to fruition?

Say hello to my little friend, the Story Seeker Venn Diagram…


Venn Diagram

Lest we forget, back when I wrote my first novel I sifted through fourteen different story concepts before finally making a decision.

And while that novel (Dashing Extreme Danger) is no prized jewel, it met all of my venn diagram standards and, thus, was a breeze to create. And that’s how noveling ought to be: breezy.

The moment that writing a novel becomes a task, we know immediately that we, as the author, have mucked it up.

We’ve created something that lost even our own interest, so however can we expect our readers to stay aboard?

Thus, the goal here is not just to write a novel to say we’ve done so (*ahem* DASHING EXTREME DANGER), but to write something interesting enough to make a living off of doing it again and again.

Dashing Extreme Danger was my test-dummy of a novel, yes, but I see now that it didn’t have to be. I simply didn’t believe in myself enough to get started on the right foot.

Please, for the love of Pratchett, avoid my pitfalls by adhering to these hard-earned tips and tricks from my personal adventures through Noveldom:


  • Choose the story you love, not the story that's easy

    Don’t settle for a story that doesn’t inspire you; unless your grand plan is to finish it, hate it, and inevitably move on to the story that inspires you.

  • Don't worry about what people may think

    Write this story concept because you love it, not because you think others will love it; which is an obvious piece of advice, but as writer’s working to profit from our creativity, we can easily get caught up in worrying about how the market may react to our work.

  • Explore every idea beyond its initial conception

    My example of pirates creating a new world order? What about female pirates? What about parrot pirates? What about a world that’s flat and pirate ships fall off of it if they go too far to sea?

What is your novel idea?

Leave a comment below to let me know how you fared against the Story Seeker Venn Diagram. Did you come up with a novel idea? If so, what will your next novel will be about?


Don’t settle on the first idea you come up with! For this challenge, use the Story Seeker Venn Diagram to come up with no less than TEN viable concepts for a novel.

To qualify, each concept must have at least one accompanying paragraph description and a pseudo-title (just for fun).

Share your results online with the hashtag: #noveldomchallenge.

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