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I start to feel that I'm mad. I make stories from everything that I see on the street. A dialogue, an interesting personality, a funny couple, a hard question or a perfect view to write about. Words and sentences are buzzing in my mind all the time.

My only and biggest problem is that I don't have the main storyline. I need something that collects these ideas and what my story is about but I throw all my ideas out of the window because I think they are too mainstream. I think I haven't found yet MY story.

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It sounds like you are letting your inner critic get in the way of your inner writer. It's very important to turn off the inner voice that criticizes your writing until all the writing is finished. Otherwise you'll never get anything completed.

Remember, all writers tend to start out writing things that are cliched --it takes a while to find an original voice. Also, many great stories and novels have explored "mainstream" ideas. Most of Shakespeare's plays were based on old stories, and the more original ones were not always the more successful ones. And Harry Potter is a mass of fantasy tropes, but JK Rowling is rich and famous.

In terms of pulling your ideas into a larger plotline --maybe you are more of a short story writer. There's a market and an audience today for very brief fiction, a story of just a few paragraphs that vividly explores an experience can be a success.

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Maybe YOU are the main storyline you are looking for. Perhaps you could write about the thoughts, emotions, feelings of a writer flooded with ideas without a coherent unifying theme. Kind of sounds like real life. We could all relate to that. Be it. Embrace it. Write about it. Good luck! JB

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Keep those random thoughts and favorite words / ideas / sentences in a journal or binder, etc...then when you have a story you can use them as needed.

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You have everything you need. Now just start with the beginning. As soon as you begin pushing all your ideas onto the pages, a story will appear. Trust your instincts. Take days that it's just not happening to edit (both scene editing and line editing). Make sure you write every day. Many will tell you to read within your genre for ideas, but I've been doing just fine with only imagination. I do a lot of nonfiction research (say, with a medical drama, I'll spend 100 hours or so trying to figure out the way a good doctor would do something versus a poor one). Scenes will start to just appear in your head. (Some may choose to see a psychiatrist at this point, but to each their own.)

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I know in my case that the initial draft of anything is very scattered and has an almost episodic feel to it. It's also full of cliches. I think they serve a function almost like connective tissue. They can help me bridge gaps in the story until I can come up with something that fits better.

I'm on my third draft of a novel right now and it's nearly unrecognizable to the story I started out telling. You'll refine and replace as you go but the important thing is that you keep at it. Build up some momentum. Find a common theme in what you have so far and explore it for the rest of this draft while you figure out exactly what story you are telling.

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This seems to be a problem for a lot of writer. My advice is to incorporate as many as you can with the story still making sense. The rest just need to be discarded, or put into another that story. Hope this helped!

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