If you’re like every other writer I’ve met, you get random ideas for novels that you know would be great and well-received by readers, but it’s not always convenient to start working on a new novel, especially if you’re already working on a single title or the next book in your series. So, what’s the best way to handle all these ideas?

How to Get the Ideas Down so You Can Write Them Later

The biggest problem with being a very prolific author is the number of ideas that you may have for various novels. Thankfully, you can efficiently handle these ideas so that you can work on them after you finish your current manuscript.

1. Stop and Write It Down

The first thing to do when you get a new novel idea is to stop and write it down. Since, your idea may have come at an inconvenient time, like at work or while you are running errands, you may only be able to pull out your phone and jot down the idea in your Notes program. I happen to have OneNote on my Android phone for fast idea jotting, but you can also use Google Keep – Notes and Lists, ColorNote, NotePad or Samsung Notes. If you are in a hurry, and your idea is extremely inconvenient, all you want to do here is write down the working title or theme and a few notes on the premise.


For Example: For The Blooddoll Factory, I jotted down – Male Nurse gets job at vampire food factory. And that’s all I wrote down initially. I think I was in the middle of slamming out 45 content orders at the time, but that was enough for me to work on it in more detail later.

2. Elaborate as soon as You Have Time

Your initial notes are not going to do you much good six months from now. You might not even remember the depth of the idea two weeks from the time you wrote it down. Therefore, it’s very important to elaborate as soon as you get some freetime. I recommend within the first week of initially getting the idea. For me, I believe I started elaborating on it later that night as soon as I was finished working for the day. 

At a minimum, you should write down a paragraph of information and any initial character names. 

For Example: When I sat down to write Anything for an A (which should be out by the end of May 2019), I opened a word processor. Your usual word processor works for this step. I saved the file as Anything for an A. The title came to me right away, but you can also use any file name that is descriptive. As you all know, I have a to-do novel that is current titled – Vampire Erotic Thriller. That’s a theme and a genre, not a title.

But during the initial Anything for an A phase, this is all I wrote down at the top of that blank word processor page: 


With time running out, 18 year old senior Kelsey must get straight A’s in order to qualify for a scholarship to college. After living several years on the street with her poverty riddled parents, Kelsey was taken in by a man she calls Uncle Greg, but he only agreed to house her until she graduated from high school. With one semester left, Kelsey has to prove that she has a 4.0 graduating GPA in order to get a free ride to college via an exclusive scholarship, and that means getting straight A’s her final semester and somehow convincing the teachers to change her previous grades. If she can’t do it, she knows she’ll have to go back on the streets.


Kelsey - girl who needs straight A's

Carl - her best friend

Mr. Hattrick – Principal

3. 5,000 to 10,000 Words 

To really make sure you get this novel idea finished in the intermediate to distant future, you’re going to have to go beyond your paragraph and character list within three to four weeks of having the idea. I recommend within the first week, so I’m being lenient with my official timeframe. What you should strive to do is get to a solid rest point in your current work. You may even want to jot down a few notes at the end to make sure you can pick it back up in two to three days. 

Next, you need to open your new novel word document and write. Ideally, you’ll want to thrown down between 5,000 and 10,000 words in order to get a really good start on that book. This should take you between two and four days, so you won’t be putting a significant delay on your current work, but you will be ensuring that you can pick up this future novel right where you left off, and you’ll see XXXX number of words already written, so this will boost your confidence when you finally get a chance to really sit down and write it.

4. Save and Go Back to Your Current Project

Once you have at least the first chapter done on your new work of fiction, save the document and return to your current project. Once you finish your current project and either start the submission process to find an agent or publisher or self-publish, you can resume the new idea. 

By handling multiple novel ideas in this manner, you are guaranteed to always have your next book idea ready and waiting on you. Not to mention, you’ll be less likely to forget that fantastic book idea you had during work, yoga or running errands.


Read More on Drafting Your Novel


  1. The Minimalist’s Way to Start a First Draft ...
  2.  Best Approaches to Start a Second Draft ...
  3. Writing the Third Draft of a Fiction Novel ...
  4. How to Write the Fourth Draft of a Fiction Novel ...
  5. How to Write the Fifth and Final Draft of a Novel ...
  6. How Many Drafts Should You Put on a Fiction Novel? ...



Read more from Stacey Carroll


Blooddoll2FrontCover01THE BLOODDOLL FACTORY II Kindle Edition


William Wilson is torn as a new clinic director (Kane Devonshire) takes over ESA and continues to sell babies as vampire food. While William doesn’t believe the vampire is worse than Blackwell, his Bonded just might be. The violent redhead has been known to attack every human she encounters. She’s unpredictable, dangerous and might just have to be put down along with Kane. 



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