QUOTE. “Like the foundation of a house, idea development serves as the solid base on which a good piece of writing rests. If you start with a solid idea, your writing can grow as big as you want.” Dena Harrison
For the writer, any idea is just a starting point. It is Step 1 in the creative process; Step 2 is making a note of the idea, and Step 3 is developing it further. When it comes to developing an idea, there are three initial considerations.
- You may have strong feelings about what you want to do with an idea.
If you are focused in your writing goals (you may know, for example, that you only want to write paranormal romantic fiction), idea development and generation will allow you to think proactively around the idea to bring it to its full potential within your chosen goals.
- You may not have a fixed ideaon where to go.
No problem. Idea development techniques help you to think around the germ of an idea to develop it in directions that interest you.
- Idea development gives you options.
Many a practicing writer takes a single idea and actively develops it as far as they can to milk its potential.
Idea development is more than plots or information
When developing an idea, the writer might be thinking about creating a body of information for an essay or article, or they might be trying to create a strong plot line for a novel – and that’s great, just the kinds of things good use of a technique will achieve. But idea development also includes concepts of:
- Organisation:In other words, brainstorming etc. will help you decide how to best put together the information – what kind of opening scene or paragraph you will use, how you will end the story.
- Focus:You can identify the purpose of a piece of writing – what do you want to explore or explain, what do you want the writing to achieve?
- Language choice: As you begin to think about the details, you may begin to think about readership and markets in more detail, and begin to make choices about the kind of language and word choice suitable for the intended readers.
- Voice:How much of ‘you’ will show in the final piece of writing? Will, for example, your natural humour show through, or will you tone it down?
As you can see, a lot can be achieved during the process of idea development.
KEY THOUGHT. The process can help the writer find what they want to say, and the best way to say it; it can save the writer time and heartache.