One of my writing 'rules' is never to dismiss any story ideas. This is because as a writer it can be all too easy to become convinced ideas are not strong enough or unique enough to be developed into a piece of writing. Often if these sparks of inspiration are given the right treatment they can end up as successful stories.
The key to this can often be finding the right home for a particular idea. I don't limit my writing to one format and this is partly in the hope of housing all my ideas. I consider whether it would best suit flash fiction, short story, novel or drama.
Sometimes knowing where to best place an idea can only come with practice.
I wrote up a short story last year but for some reason it just didn't work. So I used the basis of the story and came up with a one-act play and a monologue, both very different and different again from the original story but as a concept it worked better as a play. A year on and I would like to think that I would have identified earlier on that it wasn't working as a short story. So now I consider these points before deciding what style I should turn to:
- How many strands to the storyline?
- How many settings are there?
- How many characters are there?
These are the factors I always analysis to help decide where to place the idea. The one place I don't put them is in the bin! Twist it round, change it up, flip it over - whatever it takes to make it work - but never extinguish it before you've given it chance to flourish.