Re: Sticking to a story

I’ve got a tendency to think of (what I believe is) a great premise. Write the first chapter, edit, rewrite a few times and eventually feel satisfied with it. Only to take a break and think of a new premise and well.. start from scratch.

At this point I’ve probably written 12 first chapters. At least I’ve got a decent idea of world building at this point(since they tend to share a world).

Do you have any tips on how to sticking with your story? Perhaps you shouldn’t be such a perfectionist with your chapters and just write?

Re: Sticking to a story

Yes, first write until you introduce the main characters and they have their first full adventure together. Then write to finish the current idea of the first major conflict you've hinted at in early chapters. And by that point you'll continue just because you are already that far in and you want others to see your characters live their lives and how it'll all end.

Re: Sticking to a story

I am very much like you, I've got only 6 concepts but the world building is detailed enough i could write multiple novels about each.

I just started putting chapters up here. With no way back and only the way forward I am forcing myself to focus on one story now. I still idly add notes to the other stories though.

Still, write down all your premises, they'll probably make for great characters to meet on the road and you can create some interconnections to make a smoother transition from one story to the next. You can certainly have multiple main characters to follow too. Do watch out it doesn't become a distraction - Robert Jordan The Wheel of Time suffered a lot in the later books from too many characters in too many places all needing some time to move the plot forward. It may have been on purpose, I don't know, but it was a struggle to read through until all the different threads were woven together again.

Re: Sticking to a story

Outline your plot with the goal of having the ideas unfold in such a way it is bound to maintain your own interest in writing your story.
You know what you like to see when you read. You know what gets you excited when you are surfing the net. If you need inspiration, read a dozen plot synopsis from this very site. Write down what caught your attention from each one. Those are the kind of things that will sustain your interest as you write.
Writing is a form of self discovery. If you can't maintain interest in one story for a sustained period of time, it could be that you haven't figured out what makes your own self tick just yet.

Re: Sticking to a story

Ideally, you should know in advance the story you want to tell. Not necessarily all the details, but you should at least know the major story beats. If you just start writing without a goal in mind, it'll be hard to keep focused on it, and you're more likely to lose interest because it's not going anywhere.

On the other hand, if what you want to do is write a long-running web serial with no particular end goal in mind, your needs will be different. A lot of those authors write their story in arcs. Doing it that way would let you focus on the current arc to finish up a particular storyline. You still need some sort of target to reach, and some sort of exit strategy. Using arcs will allow you to set mini-goals to focus on, and when you run out of ideas, the current arc can be the final one. (Ideally, again, you'd have some sort of goal for the final arc before you start writing, that will tie everything together and end the series in a satisfying way.)

For my story, I went with a book model rather than a web serial model. I'm writing a fairly long series, but before I began, I knew where it would start, what would happen in the middle, and what will happen at the end. It will come to probably five books, maybe six, but then that story will be finished. I've laid the groundwork for potential sequels, but those aren't necessary to complete the story. I can choose to write them or not. But for the original story, I have the overall end goal in mind, plus a goal for each book: 1. Assembling the team, and getting the first hint that there's something bigger going on. 2. Working together as a team, learning more about the two major sub-quests as well as more hints about the overarching story arc. 3. Pursuing one of the major sub-quests. 4. [spoiler--I already know what it is, but I won't give it away]. 5. [spoiler--finale].

It doesn't really matter what model you use as long as you have a model and a goal in mind. By itself, that won't necessarily keep you interested, but it'll definitely help.

You'll know you have a winner once you write your first chapter...and then keep on going and writing more because you want to see how it turns out.

Re: Sticking to a story

A bit of a different opinion coming from me... Just go for it.

No amount of organization will make you absolutely, 100%  comfortable in moving on to the next phase of your writing process. Of course, it is great to get your thoughts in order, but don't get lost in the process. Sometimes, you just got move on even with that nagging feeling of your previous work not being perfect. The worst that could happen is criticism from fellow readers and authors, which could be a very good thing and a key way of getting even better at writing.  No one will be able to review your work if you're stuck in the outlining phase. 

Here's a key quote from Stephan King's "On Writing":

"Sometimes you have to go on when you don’t feel like it, and sometimes you’re doing good work when it feels like all you’re managing is to shovel s**t from a sitting position."

Re: Sticking to a story

The worst thing you can do is to wait for perfection. Trying to ensure that you work is good is one thing, but if you keep writing and rewriting because you feel it is not perfect, you will eventually not be able to publish anything. Even if you are not fully satisfied, keep on writing. You can always go back and change some things you don't like, but if you don't move on and keep writing, your work will remain a draft.

Re: Sticking to a story

I occasionally trial a story idea by writing an exemplar chapter, and get a feel for the thing, However, there is a plot behind that for these, either well into concept development or in sketch. These often go in to a waiting folder, but the thing is, I will return to them when ready to take them up. Just writing concept chapters is ... unwise. Its like having Ideas, only with shoes on. Regardless, they are not stories writ, or intended to be writ, so are just exercises. I hear people with Ideas ruminate and moan about not writing all the time. Thing is, this is poser cud chewing. You write or do not write, stories. There is no advision to give. Its a decision someone makes , or makes not.