Do you have any advice on how to narrow down which story idea to write? I have at least three that I really want to write and I have a decent idea of the directions I want to go, but I get overwhelmed trying to write three books at the same time! None are exactly "speaking to me" more than the others. They all have their appeal! So what's a good way to narrow down which project to work on first?
Roll a d6 and divide by two; write the names of the three main characters on slips of paper and blindly choose one from a cup; pose the question to your friends each time you sit down to write; write on the next one you have a dream about; determine which one will take less time to write, or has the least worldbuilding left to accomplish, and write on it; place three thematically similar books on the floor of a room and watch for your pet to step on one, then write on that one; plant three seeds in three Dixie cups and wait to see which one sprouts first; set three omens in your mind that represent each narrative, then write on whichever one’s omen appeared first; put all three titles into a random generator and write whichever it spits out; place three feathers on a table, place a fan equidistant from all three feathers and turn it on, then write on whichever story’s feather flies off first; choose three pebbles on the beach and wait for the tide to touch one; write each title on a post-it, stick them to the kitchen counter, and see either which one is swept into the trash first, which one gets stained first, or which one elicits a reaction from a housemate first; shoddily tape the names of the main characters to a ceiling fan, turn it up to high, and see which one flies off first; choose three flowers/plants from a garden to symbolize each main character, and write on the narrative that attracts the first bee/butterfly; open a book to a page in the middle, read the fifth line from the bottom, and write on whichever narrative is represented best by the line.
All facetiousness aside, anon, it’s a toss up. Normally, you try to determine which of the ideas is calling to you most. Which one excites you more when you think about it? Which one’s main character is telling terrible dad jokes to you in the shower? Which one’s world is most complete? Which one’s plot do you already have mostly nailed down? Which one do you believe will most benefit from being written now, and which do you believe could use some time to sit and mature before you give it a try? Which one will wither if you have to set it aside to write a different one? Which one makes you laugh most when you think about it? Which one would break your heart if you didn’t write it? Which one has the potential to touch the most people? Which one do you want to write most? If you don’t have an answer from your three when you think about those questions, then it’s just up to you and your whims. Sit down with your preferred writing medium and see what flows onto the page first. After all, who knows if you’ll get stuck or need a break. You’ll have these other ideas in the wings, waiting for their turn. You’ll get to all of them eventually, so go ahead a pick one without fear. There’s no wrong choice, unless you don’t choose at all. Good luck! -Pear