In this episode of Writing Talk Podcast we’re looking at assessing your ideas – will they make a great novel or short story?

Just as I tend to begin DIY projects around the house without having any clear idea what I’m doing, many people begin a writing project that might take months or years to complete, without any clear understanding of the task they’re about to undertake.

In this episode, I hope to steer you away from disappointment and disillusionment by going through some simple steps to help you assess the task before you begin.

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Brief Show Notes

Assessing your idea. Does it have legs? The passion factor – is it keeping you awake at night? Is it in your mind all day?

Why would anyone want to pick it up?

Condense your idea into a few sentences – is it gripping?

Structure – why would anyone want to plough through it? Is it clear and concise or muddled and sloppy?

Beginning hook, middle development, ending climax.

The hook isn’t just to hook readers – it’s a hook to hang the rest of your story from.

How deep are the characters? Will they be fully developed? What will we learn about them?

What themes will be explored?

When it comes to themes, short form is often different – themes are present but not explored fully.

The world – the backdrop – how richly detailed will it be?

Take home message

Assess the task but do it your way!

Don’t fill out an enormous planner or get bogged down in detail – just scribble some notes.


Nothing specific other than paper and pen or an electronic document.

Many people use evernote to keep all their idea jottings in one place and I recommend this  – the audio note feature is good on the mobile app:

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