I'm letting Devs sit for a while so I can revise again with better perspective. Meanwhile, I've started on a new book. I've had two ideas vying for my attention lately, so I started developing both to see which one would get more interesting to me at the moment.
Whenever I'm trying to flesh out a basic idea, I do what I call an "idea dump" document. I write down the idea, and any others that come to me while brainstorming. I also write down all the questions I have-- like "why," and "how," and "so what" and try to answer them. As I did this for one of my ideas, I had a sudden stroke of genius.
What if I combined this idea with the other idea? And then combined it with an older idea from an unused story?
My wheels began to turn, and the ideas clicked into place. I went from one interesting but possibly unoriginal idea to a story combining three of the greatest ideas I've had yet. And it's going to make one awesome story.
If you've ever listened to Writing Excuses, this is actually a method they advocate for creating an original story-- combining two or more ideas that seem different into one story. If you used one of those ideas, you might have a neat story. But if you use them both in the same story, it goes from pretty good to pretty amazing.
But you might be crying, "Wait! I don't want to use all my ideas in one story! I won't have ideas left for another one!" Lest you forget, you are a writer. A storymaker. Someone who can take a line from a movie or a picture on a wall and ask a "what if." You will have more ideas.
So, my friends, take a look at the stories and ideas floating around in your head. Can you combine any of them? Have you combined ideas before, making your story more complex and unique?