I get most of my ideas for my novels by watching anime, or listening to the anime op or just music - the idea doesn't always be related to anime but it gives me an idea and with music and anime op, I can visualize the story as if I was watching a show.

So as I just finished watching In/Spectre, I watched the anime and I liked the op so I decided to listen to it which was when I got an idea for my story. I don't want to reveal too much of the story but it was a crime-solving book. As I said before, I could begin to visualize it as I was watching a TV show. So, me thinking this a good idea, I wrote down some notes so I could remember the story a few weeks later.

I was watching Black Clover and I had just binged all of the episodes. I decided to get working on my idea as I been writing notes and research information I will be using in my book. I listen to the same op and a new idea formed in my head - more of a fantasy one at first. I'm excited because I got two awesome stories but as soon as I began to work on the fantasy one, well, not working, more like writing ideas and points I want for my story and research about things like religion and events I might use in my story that relates to real life. I began to lose sight of crime-solving one I'm afraid I lose my idea for it

This happened once before I had this idea for a story and I could visualize the entire story like a show but I soon lost sight of my story and it became very difficult to write it, as I visualized, I basically forgot the idea - even now I could only remember small details.

To try to avoid the same results, I wrote notes and ideas I had for the story so I could kinda remember the idea of the story, but to make matters worse, the story idea was created from the same anime op which made it hard to visualize one of the other, the main character shares the same and personality. I didn't do this on purpose, but when I came up with the second idea the main character kinda became the same. I tried to change the name by thinking of names using a name generator but it doesn't fit the story. The concept of their story is very different, I think this happened because I made them similar to me and my personality.

This is a hard situation for me, what should I do?

  • 1
    I'm not sure I quite understand the question. Are you asking what you should do if you forget a story idea you had in mind? Or are you asking how to write a character that isn't similar to the ones you draw inspiration from?
    – veryverde
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 10:01
  • 2
    I agree. I read this last night and thought I was just tired. You need to clarify and narrow your focus so it reads a little clearer, and asks a more specific question. Then we can give you some focused answers.
    – DWKraus
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


Going from the first idea to a final draft of a novel is a creation/destruction kind of work.

Creation in that you come up with ideas, you write them down, develop them, create characters and scenes from them and finally form them into a finished novel.

Destruction in that some of your ideas will contradict other ideas and you will have to change or discard some ideas. Ideas will not fit together and you'll have to choose.

And it will get worse as you develop your ideas and start writing the actual story. I can almost guarantee that some things will not work or not fit together and you will have to change some parts.

Your first draft will most likely be a roadmap to a finished novel, not a finished novel. You then use editing/rewriting to turn that roadmap into a novel.

Going from idea to first draft is sometimes an enjoyable experience... if you can accept that the actual draft writing process is one huge idea-generating activity (on the scene, paragraph, sentence, word level.) And it too will sometimes contradict previous ideas.

E.g. you wanted the hero and heroine to kiss in that scene, but no, it's not going to work... it's almost as if they're giving you the finger and keep doing their thing... hopefully, "their thing" is exactly what needs to happen here. Maybe in editing, you could add scenes and events before to make that kiss happen still... maybe it's an idea that needs to be discarded...

If the idea idea-generation isn't such a big problem, congratulations. You could then feel secure in that if a new idea is needed, you'll come up with it. If you forget an idea, maybe unconsciously you've already discarded it?

If idea-generation is a big problem, writing ideas down, however small or simple they may seem, working with them and developing them, trying to turn them into texts, is like giving candy to your unconscious. It will encourage more. Ignoring ideas or calling them silly or worthless, will obviously not be like candy to your unconscious and will likely send it a "thanks but no thanks" message...

As you mention, writing things down is a good practice. However, if you want to finish the text, you also need to choose what idea to continue developing and finally write. You may be able to work with two, three, or more ideas at the same time, but if you get more ideas you can ever hope to turn into finished texts, that's a luxury. Just pick one or a few and start working on them.

The "start working on the ideas" might be where you need to focus your energy. Come to grips with the destructive part of that process where ideas reveal themselves to be impossible to implement in the text or impossible to combine with other ideas.

It is a scary step, going from the lofty landscape of dreams and ideas to the almost always more or less dissatisfying reality of making them into a text. Yes, the original idea will die a bit in that process, but it will never reach a reader's head if you don't try to make it into a text.

And that's why we're here, right?

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