Often times I have a good idea for a story, however short it may be. A good title, good characters, good story line, good concept, good setting. My one problem is that I can never follow through with my idea. I always end up never finishing the story. Is there a way to solve this? Or are my ideas, in actuality, just not interesting enough for even me to finish it?

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    Welcome to Writers! You'll probably get better answers if your question is more specific. What kind of stories do you write? What specific problems are you having staying focused? Are you able to finish writing anything else, like non-fiction, essays, or technical writing? Jan 4, 2014 at 23:41
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    It seems to me like you have this idea of yourself as a writer, but in reality you don't much enjoy the activity of writing. To me it sounds a lot like: "I want to be a mountaineer, but I get tired and bored after five minutes of walking uphill." Maybe writing is just not for you? You like to dream up ideas, and those ideas are great (as I can see in your answers here), but you prefer to spend your time with other things than sitting down and writing books. Maybe you need a co-author, a person who actually writes the stuff.
    – user5645
    Jan 5, 2014 at 11:25
  • Gather up a bunch of these ideas and use them all in one tale.
    – EvilSnack
    May 12, 2017 at 2:49

2 Answers 2


I think the answer is simple: don't stick with a good idea, stick with an idea you're in love with. Your situation actually happens to me a lot. I have all these good ideas, and most of them end up abandoning my mind pretty quickly. This is a good thing. It's my brain telling me: "Buddy, I'm sorry but they don't worth your time and effort." Now, when I come up with an idea that I fall in love with, I find it impossible not to finish it. Even if the writing ends up looking like crap, I find myself coming back to it. Over and over again. I tell myself: "Hey, come back and fix this. This idea deserves beautiful, lyrical sentences and an excellent, mind-blowing plot."

A personal example: I was drinking some beers with a friend when he suddenly asked me: "Hey, did you feel the earthquake last night?" I just looked at him, confused and said, "What earthquake?" Because I hadn't feel anything (the thing is still a mystery to me). Then, later, when I was going back home the idea struck me: Hey, what if I write a story about someone who misses an earthquake, and does everything he/she can to find out why? Even though I felt like dropping the project more than once, the idea kept coming back to me again and again. Until I had no other choice but to finish it. Otherwise, I would never sleep again.

So my advice is that: try to find an idea that you truly love.


Does the idea peter out? Do you lose enthusiasm? Do you get distracted? For many very creative people the new idea is the obsession. They have gobs of ideas and not enough time to finish all of them. Or they just love coming up with story ideas, but don't like writing. Or the idea might not be complete and need to be stuck under the pillow. Or it could be a bad idea (I have lots of those).

It could just be a time management issue. To help identify where the problem lies I recommend that you pick three ideas for three stories. All other ideas get sorted into piles: characters, settings, plot twists, story ideas, etc. You can add to the piles, but don't work on them. You only work on the three.

When you get stuck one one story, if what you need can be found in a pile (like a character or setting), pull from that pile; otherwise set it aside and focus on the next. The only time you can start on another story is if you decide that the idea wasn't any good.

This may not be the way you want to work, but it should help you narrow what you need, which may be someone to hold you accountable (like a group of friends).

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