All fine in their own ways, but you need better reasons than those to write a novel or a screenplay (if it is intended to be sold or published).
I have been vividly reminded of this when I've mentored other writers and asked them why they were writing a novel. (Often because what they were writing confused me or didn't seem compelling.) To date, very few have had good answers -- to start. When they come up with better answers, lots of problems are solved.
What's a good answer? Here are some that seem to drive good storytelling:
- The characters won't shut up.
- This is a high concept and it engages me.
- I can take this further than anyone else has.
- It's what I want to find on the bookshelf.
- I don't have any choice.
At times, there can be other explanations:
- This illuminates an under-appreciated social problem and could ignite change.
- This educates people on an important scientific topic.
- This is an emerging topic with depth.
The explanations that are most questionable (if this is all the has going for it) and put me on alert that more is needed are:
- It seemed like a cute concept.
- I've got a great scene in my head.
- I won't need to do research.
- This actually happened to me.
- It gives me an excuse to deduct a trip.
- I already have pages written.
Spending an hour or even a week poking at a project that won't pan out is fine. Spending months or years of your life without at least one powerful reason -- clearly articulated -- is madness.
Why are you writing your novel or screenplay?
My online "How To Write Fast" course just began on Feb. 1 You can still sign up.
Face-to-face romance (love scene) is set for Feb 13; SF (plot) on March 5 at the Hudson Valley Writers Center in Sleepy Hollow, NY.
My online "Novel in a Month" class begins March 2.