For me ideas comes in two shapes:
The fully fledged ones and the “Someday I want to write this.”
The fully fledged ideas are the ones were suddenly I have a character clamoring for me to write their story NOW. I have learned the hard way to write it down, and jot down the plot immediately, or I’ll lose the idea. Aeryn was one of those fully fledged ideas that clamored for attention. Hopefully I’ll get back to Caetia, Demer and their intrigues later this year, or early 2014.
The other category is when I read something, and think Ooh, I would to write a Post apocalyptic Fantasy, but I don’t have a world, or a story. Sometimes two cool ideas merge into a stronger one. When it comes to the Post apocalyptic idea, I have a main character, and I have ( I think) a world too. The idea was spurred on by a idle thought when I recently saw a headline about Princess Madeleine: What if something happened and she had to take the throne? ( Not that I WANT anything to happen to the Swedish Royal family) Suddenly, I saw a princess watching as her family was slowly lowered into graves. She was sent to a cloister when she was really young, so she isn’t used to court intrigues. That said, it isn’t quite ready to be written yet. I think.
So how do I know which ideas are viable? I don’t. Over the years, I have developed a routine of writing a proposal package, I suppose is the best word, containing the first 10 k, a sketchy plot and some notes. Some turns into first drafts, some doesn’t. But at least I have enough information to continue writing the draft, if I decide to.
( Except I seem to have forgotten this process when I switch to Swedish. *winces*)