Many published and aspiring romance writers have full and vivid imaginations. It’s part of what makes them successful. However, this vivid imagination can also mean a mind that is overflowing with story ideas.
Consider the following five tips or strategies to manage them:
#1 Write down your ideas.
Whether you use a pen and paper, a napkin, a note on your iPad or you open a document on your computer, make sure you write down your ideas. This step is essential.
#2 Organize them.
Presently I have about eight WIPs (work in progress). It’s crazy. However, they are organized. Each manuscript in whatever state of completion it is in, has its own file on my computer. It has also been printed and three hole punched. Each manuscript sits in a shiny white binder on my desk so I don’t forget about it. You don’t have to organize your manuscripts this way. Find a system that works for you.
#3 Finish something!
This is my problem in a nutshell. I get excited about a new idea before I finish an old manuscript. Part of this may be rooted in a fear of success. An issue I’ve been working on. Regardless of the reason behind it, it’s important to finish mansucripts and submit them to agents and editors. Otherwise you’ll end up with a bookshelf full of unpublished manuscripts and where’s the fun in that?
#4 Embrace Cheap Technology.
Consider using a creative writing software program to organize your thoughts, ideas and manuscripts. I’ve heard good things about WriteWayPro.com. I haven’t tried it myself but they have a free trial and the most expensive “Professional” version is only $49. It’s a nice price if it helps you organize and follow through.
I also use mindmapping software to organize plots for the various storylines collecting in my head. You can find free mindmapping software for your computer or iPad/iPod. It’s a very useful tool.
#5 Join a critique group.
Regular meetings are great for holding yourself accountable. My critique group is set up so we meet monthly and submit 3 chapters or 60 pages for the group’s review. This keeps you focused on seeing a project through to completion. It also helps you stay productive.
PS. If you do purchase or use or try WriteWayPro let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the product. The pros and cons and even tips for using it.