How do you decide what story to write?

Leaving work yesterday evening I had another story idea. So far I have written and published one novella, am in the process of writing a series of short stories and am working on building a blog presence. However I have never written a full length novel, or thought about writing one. I love reading long stories and the length of a book is never a turn off for me. However to commit to writing a 200+ page book seemed like a daunting task.

So here I was… the sun setting, me dragging my body down the office stairs having received some shocking news, then I thought – I should write about that! I should write a full length novel about this (yep keeping you in suspense I will not disclose what ‘this’ is’. I had my moment, started building the story mentally for about a minute or two and then did not think about the topic any further. This morning however I woke up thinking about the plot I had developed last night and told myself that this evening I would spend some time working on the first chapter.

Strangely when I got into work this morning, I was having a conversation with one of my colleagues and a phrase she said stood out as being a great title for the story. Now is it just me or is this weird: going from having no story to having a title, plot and plan to start the work within less than 24 hours! Furthermore to overcome the fear of writing a full length novel and commit to writing thousands of words also. Wow. Now it was such a shock to me that I have blogged about it. It has also made me think about what actually makes us as writers decide to take certain ideas forward to write a story. I know I have loads of ideas every single day but sometimes I will creatively express them as a poem, or short story or maybe even an essay or blog post. What is it however that makes me you decide to develop an idea into a story.

Off the top of my head I would say the main thing that drives me to write a longer piece of work is my emotional attachment to the idea. I have to visualise myself being excited and curious about the topic for a long time. What drives you to write longer works?
Let me know.


About Plantain Periodicals

Hello! Welcome to the Plantain Periodicals blogs. The name stems from the kitchen moments I had with my friends at university cooking plantain and planning our lives together. I have used this space as a window into my mind and the way I make sense of all my experiences through writing.This is where I share those conversations and moments that happen inside my head as a young woman growing up in 21st century London. Hopefully you'll be entertained and also learn a thing or two. My main blog ad: My literature blog: NMx
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7 Responses to How do you decide what story to write?

  1. Marcie Hill says:

    It is not unusual to go from an idea to a title and plot within 24 hours. Unfortunately, most people never finish those thoughts and ideas EVEN THOUGH they have a draft. I want to lend support and well wishes on a soon-to-be completed book and a job well done. If you need a push, let me know. I had two friends to push me to complete my two e-books, and they are done. I am available to do the same.

  2. Good luck with this, sounds exciting!

  3. savvy-writer rebecca says:

    Great question … Good luck with your story!

    I have many story ideas, but I’m not sure if I’ll develop them into novels, short stories or screenplays. I need to sell some of my ideas. 🙂

  4. Elke Feuer says:

    The story and a passion for writing drives me to write longer books. I never had the inclination to write short stories, but decided to try it. I found it wasn’t for me (that might change). I was surprised at how difficult it was. It gave me a new respect for short story writers.

    Good luck writing longer stories. It’s a bigger committment, but the sense of accomplishment at the end is worth definately worth it!

  5. jules says:

    I’ve just decided to write my first novel! The character is based on myself, but the location is in Scotland and, after book one (which will be semi-autobiographical), the book will be entirely fictional – depending on whether or not my dreams come true. I’ve set myself a target on writing 50000 words for the first novel (1700 words max for a chapter) and I’m so far, after day two, on course! 🙂

    I just hope that the works get published. I have plans for 4 books in this series; and I also have a plan on a fifth, different book that I started writing when I was 19/20! I just gotta get my head down and do this thing!


  6. I think it’s not surprising at all that your story came together so fast. I’ve been breezing through your posts here, and it’s clear God ordained you to write- when you’ve been called to do something, He’ll give it to you fast!

    Good luck with your story!

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