1. ARDD
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    ARDD Member

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    Do you write one thing at a time?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by ARDD, Apr 22, 2013.

    I'm still trying to find my 'process' and I find it difficult to stay on just one story at a time. What do you think? Is focussing on one project at a time the best approach? Or is a plethora of plots more your thing?
     
  2. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    I have a number of projects going on at all times: always have.
     
  3. SwampDog
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    SwampDog Contributing Member

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    You're going to get different answers, and none of them will be correct.

    You can only do what suits you. No right or wrong.
     
  4. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    While I have one book on the go, I have about 6 sub plots - kinda like Game Of Thrones and within each chapter I jump from scene to scene. From what's going on in the castle to a conversation on a boat to the a Lord being tortured so yeah I write many things at once. It saves me the boredom of writing one continuum.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    It's up to you. Only you can decide what works for you. I would like to point out, however, that if you go a significant length of time (a year? Two? Are you writing short stories or novels?) and you haven't completed anything, you should probably rethink how you're approaching this. It's very easy to start fifty projects and never finish any of them. It's much harder, for some, to start just one and see it through to completion.

    Identify your own weaknesses and beware of them. Also, identify your strengths and cultivate them. Find a way of working that leads to finished projects.
     
  6. Nicki_G
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    Nicki_G Member

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    If I find myself writing and come across an idea that won't work in my current story, I will write it on scrap paper and start that story and will usually move back and forth for a while. It really helps when I get stuck in one story, I just move to the next and then I find my way through the mud and get back to writing.
     
  7. Kaga
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    Kaga Member

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    I tend to stick to one project at the time, because I usually end up getting so immersed in what I'm writing that starting other stuff will just screw things up for me. However, do what feels right for you and forget about the others. There is no universal "right", just what's right for you.
     
  8. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I write one thing at a time, but I have new ideas for projects all the time, so I write them down. But I don't actively write them. I may go so far as to write a brief outline for the project and tuck it away, adding to it when I randomly think of things. But I only actively write one thing at a time, putting all my effort into it.
     
  9. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    Agreed.
     
  10. Nicki_G
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    Nicki_G Member

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    Yes, but I believe the quest is for thoughts, ideas, and support. People like knowing what others are doing because when we are in the same "boat" as others we feel satisfied with our own choices of how we decide to write.
     
  11. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    I think it would be great and would help to focus on a story and get it done, but I really can't stick with only a single story. It would also help prevent tangent stories that are bad, weird, or don't have any plot, and would also prevent conflicting canon stories.

    On the last note, you can usually get away with that as a small writer by labeling it an experimentation, but if you get big, it can cause massive fan rage. It's hard sometimes not to get bogged down with ways of trolling future fandom, even though you know the story will probably never be published.
     
  12. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    I used to have difficulty focusing on one project at a time. I wound up feeling stretched too thin and never finishing anything I started. I found focusing on one thing at a time worked best for me. Now, for me, whether or not I can focus all my attention on a project is a good indicator of how strongly I feel about it. Then again I also like writing from multiple povs from multiple characters rather than with just one pov from one character. :p

    It's different for everyone. That's just what works for me. :)
     
  13. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    That's mostly how things are with me. I get tons of ideas, start them, some of them are even promising, and none of them get done. Feeling strongly about a story helps it get done, but has often correlated with stories that weren't a good use of time.
     
  14. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Me and KaTrian generally try to finish what we start, but since we have half a dozen WIPs standing by, if we lose our motivation, the "need" to write the story we're currently working on and suddenly feel very inspired by another WIP on the hold, we'll switch stories because to us, inspiration is very important; if we don't feel inspired by what we write, our text usually turns out sub-par.
     
  15. TerraIncognita
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    TerraIncognita Aggressively Nice Person Contributor

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    That's unfortunate. :(

    For me, if I feel like it must be written then it comes out really well. If I don't feel strongly I tend to half do it.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've always been able to work on multiple writing [and other] projects concurrently...

    but not everyone can do that and make it work well, so if you can only work on one at a time, don't feel badly, as you've plenty of company...
     
  17. Jonathan Lane
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    Jonathan Lane New Member

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    Nope

    I can never stick to one story at a time. In fact, I can hardly ever finish something. By the time I get around to finishing anything I write, I'll have a dozen novels done at the same time.
     
  18. Quille
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    Quille Senior Member

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    I currently have one story aging, in other words, I'd edited to the point that I couldn't see it anymore and am actively working on another, just got the ending an hour ago :) When I get the current story edited, I will set it aside for a bit. Haven't decided whether to pull out the first one next or work on some others that are waiting for attention. I also have the first draft of a novel. I had an idea of working on short stories in the morning and my novel in the afternoon, but haven't got there, yet.

    I think the only way to know what works for you is to try different things. And stay open to new ideas, I'm always discovering something new on this forum.
     
  19. TechnoGoth
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    TechnoGoth Member

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    When I was younger I worked on multiple projects and never got very far with anything. But I think my IT background working in a KanBan environment has driven into me the idea stop starting and start finishing. So now I'm only working on one novel until is finished. I take break now and again to do a blog post or write a short story. It's important to keep fresh while working and break things up when you hit a block or are feeling burnt out.
     
  20. Inquisitor Ehrenstein
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    Inquisitor Ehrenstein Member

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    Feeling strongly in the right way helps. It's easy though to write about something that isn't good to focus on. I've done it more than a few times. I'm not the worst offender is though; the guy "Kevin" is based on started writing a novel that was supposed to be a short story. It completely lost it's plot, and two or three days in the story turned into well over a hundred pages of some of the weirdest stuff I have ever read. Looking back, it wasn't that weird as it was somewhat insightful, and he generally made the right conclusions, but it was mostly the extent that he was clearly thinking about the subject matter that was unsettling. We called it creepy back then, but I'd say more that it's pity and thinking it was sad that he was stuck on depressing subjects.
     

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