When you write a novel, there’s always a point in the story where your brilliant, golden story idea is now lying there on the page looking like a sorry piece of dross.

Arthur Rackham 1909 Undine (4 of 15)At this point, Bright Shiny Ideas invariably come swimming into your mind like a school of idea fish, all calling to you to go write them instead.

Common wisdom says ignore those ideas and finish what you’re working on.

I feel this is rude and will offend those ideas. They might swim away and find someone more sympathetic. So I do not ignore stray ideas. I welcome them in, sit them down with a cup of tea and listen while they tell me how wonderful they are. I scribble down notes as quickly as I can, then thank them for their time, and show them to the door promising to call as soon as I can.
Then I go back to the current story.