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How do you decide that something is worth writing down?:

Is there a certain process you go through, or do you just write whatever ideas you have down and worry about making it good and coherent later in the drafting process? In case it's not clear what I mean, I'm referring more to stories and story ideas than anything else here.

The reason why I ask, is because I've been thinking up stories for years, but I almost never write them down because I'm not sure if the idea is good enough to commit to paper. Even when I do write them down, I usually end up abandoning the project for much the same the same reason as to why I rarely start in the first place.

Also known as Katz
Unless you're suffering from a paper shortage, why not write it down? I've got tons of half-page stubs that never went anywhere on my computer...and several completed novels.

An accurate depiction
^ applies here as well.
This is this.
My thoughts bustle with many thoughts at any one time, and I trust intuition to help me on a story context. If I really like it, what I've written down, then I go on writing more.

Hey, who should care about expected reader reactions anyway? Write true to yourself, and find a pleasant (or possibly unpleasant) surprise from what others make of it.

edited 27th Aug '10 5:01:01 PM by QQQQQ

 5 Edmania, Fri, 27th Aug '10 5:18:30 PM from under a pile of erasers
o hai
Just write down whatever and delete things you don't see worth keeping later; at least, that's what I do.

That said, I don't actually write things down most of the time, I usually type it on a wordpad document. Or something.
If people learned from their mistakes, there wouldn't be this thing called bad habits.
 6 Imipolex G, Fri, 27th Aug '10 6:27:24 PM from all our yesterdays
frozen in time
I write down any idea that's even vaguely interesting to me.

I have a list of about 800 ideas now. The difficult thing is to put them together coherently.
no one will notice that I changed this
I'll join the chorus and say write everything down. It's often hard to tell if an idea is any good upon inception. Just write it down and let it sit for a while. If you find it later and still want to develop the idea further, then that's a sign that the idea is worth exploring.
 8 Loni Jay, Fri, 27th Aug '10 6:34:16 PM from Australia Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
I tend to write stuff down, whatever is currently obsessing me, when I'm in a mood to write. Because I know that once the mood leaves me, no matter how much I love the idea, I won't write it. Even if you never use the stuff you write - it's all practice.
Be not afraid...
 9 krrackknut, Fri, 27th Aug '10 6:38:09 PM from The empty Aether.
Not here, look elsewhere
Write EVERYTHING down. ALL OF IT.

You'll never know when you can use it.
An useless name, a forsaken connection.
 10 Leradny, Fri, 27th Aug '10 7:19:55 PM from Alameda, CA
Just repeating what other people have said already, but it deserves repeating: I don't decide on what's worth writing down, but what's worth keeping.

Sounds like solid advice - thanks everyone! Guess I'll save the self-criticism till after I've actually written my ideas and stories down.

edited 28th Aug '10 8:02:17 PM by Cresneta

^that's probably a very good idea. I wanted to add that I sometimes get a certain feel about stories after I've written a basic outline or a bit about the main character down. Once I have something on paper, then I can look at it more objectively and decide if it is worth pursuing. I also get an idea of whether or not it is a short story or a larger piece. This helps because I can usually write rough drafts of short stories in a week or so, but larger pieces will take longer, and if I already have one on my plate I don't start on the other one.
Amateur cook Professional procrastinator

Not An Avatar
Do NaNoWriMo. I never even considered writing any of my stories or ideas down before I did it, and now it's much easier to put finger to keyboard.
We're not just men of science, we're men of TROPE!
I'm going to try and do NaNoWriMo again this year actually. Last year I failed because I tried to force myself into writing a story that I wasn't really interested at the moment because the story I was thinking about at the time was a fan fic. This year I'll probably write whatever is on my mind at the time unless I end up working from an outline...

@Amarys - I bet that also helps you to figure out whether the plot is too predictable or not and to tweak it in advance - I might have to try this some time as well.

 15 Bananaquit, Sun, 29th Aug '10 4:41:21 PM from The Darién Gap Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Knight of Labor
Probably best to keep a notebook by your side at all times to scribble down any flash ideas you have on the fly. Then you can decide later whether they're worth preserving or not.  *
The Movie Explorer: discovering oddities from the cinematic jungle.
Sen
Write it down, develop it later. Works for me.
Probably should get working on that essay now...
Neko-samo
I write down whatever pops into my head/mind at the spur of the moment, except when it involves kinky erotica waii
OC stand in for clearance. Welcome to the Sprylite Zone.
I write everything I think off, read it out loud when no one's around (and boy, when there was one person there, I felt like a tool). Everything is worth writing down. Even ideas that seem stupid at first can be converted into something made of win.

Everything in your mind is worth writing. Including the erotic stuff...

Scratch that, especially the erotic stuff. It's kind of a shame when I write ero, it comes off particularly narmy, and is hidden away in a hellish maze of files.
In the end I'll be with you.
Also known as Katz
^In a folder called "Schoolwork, " amirite? My one and only erofic is very thoroughly hidden too.

Maelstrom
I usually keep a notebook on me at all times. It's a nice little one that fits in most pockets, and has a lot of pages. I have another one that's a little larger that I use at home.

Just write down everything that comes to mind. A lot of the time, great ideas happen unconsciously.
Space hobo
For some reason, I'm afraid to write some things down. even if nobody gets to read it. I need a confidence chcek.

 22 Bananaquit, Fri, 8th Oct '10 2:29:38 PM from The Darién Gap Relationship Status: THIS CONCEPT OF 'WUV' CONFUSES AND INFURIATES US!
Knight of Labor
I should really get into the habit of actually doing this, but if you think it might be worthwhile, you should just go ahead and write it down.
The Movie Explorer: discovering oddities from the cinematic jungle.
 23 deathjavu, Fri, 8th Oct '10 2:49:54 PM from The internet, obviously
This foreboding is fa...
I always figured the way ideas can trigger other ideas can trigger etc. meant that any idea was worth writing down, even if you were 100% sure that it wasn't good enough on it's own. Plus, you never know if you might change your mind on it's worthiness...

I mean, for the potential gain, there's really almost no drawback to at least jotting down enough to remember the idea again, and if you don't you will forget eventually.
Look, you can't make me speak in a logical, coherent, intelligent bananna.
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
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Total posts: 23
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