I've heard aspiring writers and published authors pose this question: How do you decide which story to go with if more than one is poking its way into your thoughts? For me, the answer is
always whichever one has the most energy behind it. Sometimes that means the voice of the main character is constantly talking at me and insists upon being heard. Other times it's the story that is unfolding in my mind so quickly I almost can't keep up.
That doesn't mean I don't question my choice sometimes. I'll ask myself, is this really the story I want to tell next? Is this the right story? Does it have enough punch or meaning or suspense or romance or whatever? But the truth is I don't know the answer to any of those questions. Because for me, a first draft is me telling the story to myself. I don' t know it until it's been told. There's so much I learn in that first telling. I may not know what the themes will be or who the characters are or how the story will end the first time through. So I can't decide based on any of that. I just have to see which story feels alive and ready to roll. And trust that the character or the story itself will guide me.
So much of writing for me is intuitive. The story can change directions in any moment. And sometimes I stop myself, asking, really? That's where the story is going? But then I just shut myself up and go with it. Because if there's one thing I've learned about writing it's that my intuition tells a much better story than my rational mind. So when intuition speaks, I listen. And the same holds true for choosing the next tale to tell. Which one is making you feel it? Which one is whispering in your ear when you can' t fall asleep at night? Which one is grabbing you by the throat and won't let go?
Listen to that one. It's bound to lead you on a wild and glorious