How to Choose Between Book Ideas

We all get to that point, sometime or another, when we have to choose between a handful – or a hundred – lovely book ideas scribbled on a page and . . . yikes! I want to write them allllllll!

Yeah, but seriously, it happens. I’m getting towards the end of the first round of editing for my current WIP, Promised Land, and that means making plans for my next book, and hopefully, NaNoWriMo. I SO want to do NaNo again this year! I MUST! Anyway, it seemed an appropriate topic for this post on this painfully neglected blog. 😦 Dear friend, you must forgive me. I am in the middle of editing, and blogging takes a back seat. Unintentionally, of course.

How to choose between book ideas . . .


This may seem simple, but it’s crucial. You won’t be able to write a 50,000+ word novel without being inspired for the thing. Writing is hard, folks. (News flash!)

Now, you may not know which of all these beautiful/exciting/best-seller ideas catches your eye the most. Try writing a chapter of each. Try writing an outline, see if you can figure out logistics, an ending. Run the idea by a friend. There may not be an idea there that really sticks out to you. Keep thinking.


If you plan to publish, this is an important question. Now, I can’t tell you exactly how to go about this research, but see if you can find what the current market of books is up to. What’s popular in your genre? Obviously, this is not going to be the deciding factor when it comes down the wire of story ideas, but please take it into consideration and do your research.


Which idea is the most publishable, in other words. Can you figure out the logistics, the ending, the climax, the character arcs? If you answer yes to those questions, it’s probably doable. Next, run the idea past a friend or family member (providing they can be totally honest), and ask them, “Would you read this book if you picked it up off the shelf?” That could answer the publishable question for you right away.

There are many possibilities to help you choose between all the book ideas that spring up in your head. But these should help you get started. Now that I’m coming to the point where I have to hand Promised Land off to my critique partner – *squeezes book tight because she doesn’t want to let it go* – for the second round of editing, I’ll have time to apply these questions to the ideas I have for NaNoWriMo. Stay tuned . . . there just might be another book update on the horizon!

Don’t go away. Are you fishing through the waters of creative juices? How do you choose between all those tantalizing fish that are novels and novellas and epics in their infancy? Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? Let’s chat in the comments!


Published by Hannah Gaudette

Hannah Gaudette is a home-school graduate living in the hills of New England. When she’s not writing or playing with the dogs, it’s a safe bet you can find her with some other animal, like goats. She is the founder of a sustainable agriculture movement called STEWARDSHIP in central Maine. She's a life-enthusiast and advocate for food allergy awareness, youth ministry, and service dogs.

10 thoughts on “How to Choose Between Book Ideas

  1. Great points! However, I only half agree with the point you made about the present market. What’s popular in the market now will most likely not be when you have your manuscript ready to submit or publish. I’m experiencing this but from the perspective of having started my WIP before the market started coming back around to what I wrote. I’ve been working on a dragon book for 2 years and now I’m seeing people talk about wanting what I have. I’m working my butt off to get it done but I’m still afraid that because I can see around the corner, I’ve already missed the turn. On the upside, trends are cyclical and if it doesn’t make it now, I’ll be more than ready the next time around. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment! I do agree. I know some people can publish a book in a year, and people who can probably have a better chance of taking advantage of the present market. The rest of us just have to do our best! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I should have clarified, you’re right. This is great if you need help choosing an idea. For me, the way I would use this tool is with the understanding that I will most likely have to catch the current trend the next time it comes around. But at least I know it can be a trend.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hiiii….
    I’m not doing NaNoWriMo this year, no. I have way too many other things going on to commit to that. I’m trying not to start any new stories right now, since I have way too many WIPs already and I have a ton of homework. Also, my Creative Writing class has a ‘novel project’ thing in the second semester, so I’m saving one of my newest ideas for that. The title: Petrichor. I feel so proud of it- I actually came up with a plot, for once, and not just a world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like fun! That’s a GREAT title. I might end up having a script/screenplay writing project in my writing class this year. It just depends on what happens with the rest of my writing. (I’m homeschooled, so, we’re flexible!) I’m hoping it works out though. It sounds like a great challenge. 🙂


  3. These are some super great questions to ask!! I’m thinking about this since new story ideas keep overwhelming me.
    YESSS! I want to write them alllll!! Too many ideas, right? XD
    I’ll probably do a smaller goal but not the official Nano, due to busyness. I’ll be cheering all the Wrimos as they crawl to the finish line, tho!!
    Great post, Hannah!

    Liked by 1 person

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