Do you ever feel like you have too many ideas? I do. I can never possibly write them all – and what if I don’t pick the right one to *try* to write? What if I forget a good one chasing a bad one?
I what-if myself a lot. I suspect we all do.
But I do wonder how published authors can stick to just one genre. Don’t they get bored? Do they really like sci-fi/romance/Pretentious Lit/fart jokes so much that they never want to branch out? I’ve heard different answers – that agents and publishers put presser on them to do more of the same because that’s what readers expect, or that they get comfortable in a particular genre and just want to stay there for a while, or that they really do just like one. Stephen King made a break for it, Barbara Cartland doesn’t seem to have. Like everything, it seems to depend on the author.
My favourite genre is broadly fantasy – urban, high, shaded with steampunk, I like it all – but the other day I was thinking about the Where Did Everybody Go trope… you know the one, where the town or ship or whatever is suddenly empty and a Rag-Tag Band of Strangers has to unite to find out what happened? And I was thinking about how I would do that one, just idly wondering because the last thing I need right now is a new project, and then next thing I know my brain is merrily depopulating a mining station on a planetoid somewhere and I don’t even usually write sci-fi but sometimes it just hijacks my brain. Especially since I happened to be reading the Honour Harrington series while I was thinking about it. (If you like badass ladies in your sci-fi, Honour Harrington is not half bad)
I’ve written down a few paragraphs of very rough outline, including what actually happened to all the people in case I forget. (If you have an idea that involves a twist, and you make a note of it? INCLUDE THE TWIST. I’ve forgotten one once, halfway through a fanfic I’d already started posting, and it was pretty damn awkward let me tell you) At this point, I’ll let it simmer for a while and then come back. If it still seems interesting and like something I want to write, I’ll take a crack at it.