Saturday, April 14, 2012

2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge: Multiple projects at one time

My regular blog readers will know that I'm working on my second novel (and by second novel, I don't mean the second novel I've ever written - I've written several, this is just the second novel I plan to publish). My debut novel came out on January 17th, and I started my second book on January 19th. I expected to have it done pretty quickly, but it's been pretty slow going, especially in the last month since I've had my youngest nephew here 4 days a week.
Since starting this project, I've had ideas for at least two new stories. As soon as the ideas pop into my head, I jot the main ideas down in my notebook, and add to them whenever a piece of dialogue or character trait or whatever comes to me, but that's as far as I'll allow myself to go. A writer friend mentioned on Facebook one day that the same thing keeps happening to her, and she wondered about working on multiple projects simultaneously. I thought it was a crazy idea because I didn't want to get the stories mixed up, but my ideas are completely different - my current project is women's fiction, and the other two main ideas (as in the ones that won't leave me alone) are both young adult, but one is contemporary and one is fantasy, so they're completely different.
The beginning of one of the stories came to me the other day - like, the entire beginning, right down to the little descriptions. That same day, I read an interview with an author who had published 25+ books and said that she always worked on different projects at the same time so that when one stalled, she had something else to work on, and no excuses not to write. It got me thinking: if she can do it, why can't I? But is it weird that I feel like I'd almost be cheating on my current characters to create new ones and live in their world simultaneously? 
I still haven't decided for sure what I'm going to do, but I figure what can it hurt to at least give it a shot? If it doesn't work, I'll just focus on one story, but if it does work it might mean getting more writing done, because I'd always be writing something.
How about you? Do you work on one project at a time, or do you have multiple projects on the go?


  1. I quite like working on a few things at the same time. That way, if I am struggling with one, I can switch to a different one. :)

  2. That's actually a good way of looking at it... in case your current project isn't going anywhere or you can't figure out where to go, you have something else to keep you writing. I need to keep that in mind next time I hit a slump in my current WIP. :)

  3. I'm an article writer and a fiction writing. I'm always working on multiple projects. However, when it comes to fiction, my brain can only handle one project at a time.

  4. I usually have one main project going but take notes as things pass through. If I get a whole scene that comes to me, I'll pause whatever I'm working on to get that written.

  5. I have multiple projects started, but I try to pick one to work on at a time.

  6. I tend to focus on one project, but I keep files for each idea I come up with and add to them when inspiration strikes. If I am stuck on my main, especially if it's in rough draft and is being difficult, or (like right now) it's in second draft and I am making BIG decisions that need to be slept on, I've got no qualms writing scenes, interviewing new characters, using various creative tools that help me with my characters and world building, etc.

    Lately, though, I've found that my favorite thing to work on when the decisions for Moon Dance need a little time is planning stuff for the upcoming opening of my author blog, researching promotional items for how I'm going to get word out about the book and working on stuff like getting ideas for my cover, my back blurb, all the decisions involved in making the print and eBook versions, etc.

    I think the reason I love this so much, since Moon Dance *is* in the revision stage, is that I know the story exists, I know I will finish and by doing things that make me think of it that way I feel brave enough to do whatever it takes to make it stronger, richer and better then it was when I wrote the first draft.

    In the end, the important thing is to find out whether working on multiple things works for you, and the only way to find out is to try. Good luck and I hope things are going well with your next book! :)

  7. I always have multiple projects going on at different stages. Usually I have a primary WIP to focus on while I brainstorm or edit others.


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