(image by Amor Magno, taken from kikolani.com)
This can be a tough choice. When I got the idea for the epic fantasy novel, currently titled Gathered at Dawn, I was maybe a sophomore in high school, though it may be earlier. It started out as an alternate history novel idea set during the Civil War. That changed slightly to add a sci-fi element of a gaming system that puts the group of characters into a Civil War like world, which soon split into two different ideas. There is the Civil War story that has two main characters that aren't anything like the original characters and the plot is different but somehow it came from the first idea. Then there was the gaming idea, which sounded cool at the idea, where at the end not everyone leaves the game. Somehow, that shifted to become the awesome (although not the most original) epic fantasy story. The idea has been an epic fantasy one, with the same plot and characters, for about 4 years or more.
So, why wait 4 years or so (and thus accumulate 60 other novel ideas) to actually write the first draft of the novel?
The basic answer is simple. I wasn't ready to write an epic fantasy. I wasn't ready to write a novel even. When I first started writing on Writing.com I had a few poems posted and tried a little writing but nothing big or serious. By the second year I was writing scenes and "short stories" or "flash fiction" for contests on WDC along with more poetry. 2006 was my first attempt at novel writing. By then I had at least 10 ideas for stories(novels) and things increased from there.
Also, I have to admit that I was a little intimidated by the genre. There are such amazing books out that are epic fantasy and it has such a large word count, I didn't think I could write a good epic fantasy based on my writing skills. 100,000 words is a large number for someone who had only written 5,000-ish, or 14,000 (nano 2007). Even if it was never going to be seen by any other person but me, I wanted to do things right.
Elves, dwarves and humans aren't the most original combination for an epic/high fantasy story either. But I love elves and mages. The main characters were inspired by friends of mine with one being the closest to a mary sue character that you'll ever find in my writing. But don't worry, since every character has taken on a life of their own and don't even look like the influenced person anymore.
So, I chose to wait on that novel as I learned more about writing and worked on different novels (along with coming up with many many more ideas).
Why am I ready now?
I have written 3 finished first drafts, including one that came out at 90,000 words. I have been writing for the past 4+ years and think I'm better at the process and it's my fourth year doing NaNoWriMo. Considering in March I was able to do 50k in 15 days, I should be able to do 50k in a month. The novel idea is solid and hasn't changed since it became an epic fantasy. I am excited for the novel and overall, I just think it's time to write the novel for me as I prepare my two mutants series to eventually send out.
Do you ever wait on an idea?
If you do or don't: why?
Guess what? It's almost time for NaNoWriMo!