Sleep on it!

Hey guys!
Do you ever have the "I don't know if this is going to work together, does this portray the story that I want to tell?"-feeling? Because I do almost all of the time. If you do, this post is for you.
I touch on this subjects more on the for-now-not-posted-writing page and I really wanted to share it in the meantime.

Let's say you've picked a theme; gothic love fiction
and your main idea is; Cassandra falls in love with a fallen angel
but then as you start to come up with all these cool stuff and you research to get a better view of stuff, you come up with your second idea; maybe Cassandra is an angel herself, but she doesn't know it yet, and that prevents the two of them to be together
and so far you have a pretty decent story. But then, you go into overdrive and you're like; and then on the day that Cassandra found out that she's an angel, and that her fallen angel boyfriend Frederic has always known, a big dark cloud forms in the sky and suddenly a UFO shoots down and threatens to destroy the Eiffeltower unless Cassandra gives up her new wings.
So now in your mind it's like; well, she did just find out and she did just get the wings so giving them up would be a big dilemma for her so that's absolutely character evolving
It is, and that's great. However, the UFO?

I'm not saying that this wouldn't become a great story, if you want to write it, write it and I'll happily buy a copy, but if you are writing every little thing you come up with it going to be really messy.

For instance, I'm going to share one of my recent projects that I'm currently sleeping on. If you like it then please draw inspiration from it, rather than copying it completely.
I have a character named Abigail. She's new in town, she doesn't know anybody, and she's tricked into a pretend cult along with some classmates. None of them believes in the stuff they talk about - and how could they? Demons, vampires, ghosts, it's all fake, right? But one day the leader, who's older than the rest of the group and likes to keep to himself, suggests that they all go on a ghost hunt. They meet up at an old asylum where everybody's running around, not doing what they're supposed to do because they don't believe in it. Their assignment is to find this hidden sacrifice chamber where they're going to sacrifice a small animal, but when it doesn't work out, the leader tricks everybody into thinking that the cops are there to arrest them for trespassing. They run upstairs and across the fragile floorboards, until a large crash can be heard throughout the building; Abby has fallen through the floor and landed on her back exactly in the middle of the sacrifice chamber. She dies immediately, but sees all of her "friends" look down on her, then run away. Lastly, the leader looks down on her and smiles before leaving as well.
As she's lying there, feeling the sense of cold, emptiness, and silence, she sees a big creature slowly closes in on her and drags away her body. But.. How can it be, that her body is being dragged away, yet she's still lying in the same position on the floor where she landed?
After the creature has left, a couple of small children, although surprisingly wise for their age, run up to her and tells her that "the man in the hat tricked her as well!" The man being the leader. He's done this before, but why? They help her up.
Over time she meets some of the other residents in the asylum; patients that were treated for tuberculosis; mentally ill patients; and kids without parents. While trying to find a way out of the asylum and be reunited with her body and family, she gets to know the souls and can maybe help them cross over as well.

Okay, so that's where I'm at right now. I have this all figured out, but then... The overthinking begins. Who are the residents? What's the monster and his deal? What's wrong with the leader? How bad was this asylum? Were the patients tortured by asshole doctors and nurses? That seems pretty believable, but then, how does that connect with the sacrifice chamber? Are the doctors cultists? Is the leader a doctor with a time machine? Is the monster an alien? Is this her imagination as she lays dying? How does she solve everything, but worst of all, what is everything?

It's pretty clear that even though this project is something I love to work on, it still needs a lot of work because I haven't figured anything out yet, except for the very beginning. So, now I have to take a step back and look at the story and see what fits in the best - can an evil master doctor be the monster? Has he created a monster from parts of the other patients, which is the reason that they're still there? Is the leader a son or grandchild of the doctor, who's gone mad and is eager to help his dead relative finish his work?
Where do my ideas end and my story start? Therefore, I am taking a breather, stepping back to enjoy the view and sleep on it until I know my next move. Perfection can't, and shouldn't be, rushed. "If you have to force it, it's probably shit."
However, only take as much time as you actually need, and no more. When you step back and hope for a bigger picture of the story it can sometimes be easy to lose track of it, and accidentally start a new one, and in worst case scenario; trash the first one. Stay away, but stay focused on coming back to your project.

Hope this helps!


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