1. TheWingedFox
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    TheWingedFox Active Member

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    I'm thinking to write different stories at the same time. Has anyone done this?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TheWingedFox, Apr 1, 2015.

    I'm seriously wanting to create a few novels,but I'm very aware that it will be a long process.

    I had an idea,which may be either inspired or an absolute path to disaster.

    The novels are of different genres,and the plots are set in stone(inasmuch as they can be!)

    I had this idea;

    to keep my writing fresh,to maintain my own interest in the long haul,and to develop my style in each genre, I would write them concurrently-ie,do a bit of the children book one day,work on the horror the next,then the Sci Fi after that,etc

    What do you guys think of this?

    My hope is that I would be able to differentiate between writing styles,develop my voice in each genre,and perhaps most importantly,keep my interest burning

    The dangers are apparent;plot repetition,character echoes and my voices muddling together.

    Any opinions and has anyone tried this?
     
  2. Lance Schukies
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    Lance Schukies Active Member

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    the one rule about writing is, there are no rules. if you like the idea do it.

    I personally have many ideas for stories, but I write one at a time.
     
  3. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I can't really speak about novels as I'm currently not working on any longer pieces, but when it comes to short stories I tend to write several at the same time. I currently have at least 3-4 that I'm working on though I give two of them more focus than the others.

    Doing the same with novels can definitely work, but it might be a tad harder as there is way more information to keep track of for each book. So maybe you should just give it a try and see how it works out for you?
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think there's going to be an absolute right or wrong approach to this, but...

    Have you ever completed a novel-length work? It's a lot of work to finish just one, and it's easy to get discouraged before you finish. Working on three at the same time seems like it would be spreading your efforts out and making it that much harder for you to reach the end of any of them.

    If you're a more experienced writer then this probably isn't as much of an issue - you already know how much work it will be and you're ready to do it.

    I'd definitely be concerned about your voice blurring from one genre into the other, but, again, that might be something you can overcome.

    What's the advantage of working on all three at once?
     
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  5. Lea`Brooks
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    Lea`Brooks Contributing Member Contributor

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    I actually read an article once that suggested writing multiple stories at one time. Mainly because, you're going to lose your inspiration on one of them someday. It's inevitable. But if you work on many stories at once, you'll have another story to jump on to until your inspiration for the other comes back. So you're constantly writing, constantly working, and never losing ground or focus.

    Personally, I work on all my stories at once. Not literally at once.. I go where the inspiration takes me. For example, I'm currently inspired to work on my high fantasy. I know eventually, I'll lose that inspiration. So I'll move onto my urban fantasy. Then I'll either go back to my high fantasy or I'll work on a different idea. I keep very detailed notes, though, so it's easy for me to go back and see exactly where I left off.

    Just do what feels right to you. :) There's no right or wrong process. Writing is a very personal experience, and no one can tell you how to do it.
     
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  6. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    Different people do different things. A lot of people have more than one project going - but the key is not to let the development of new projects distract you from ever finishing any of them.

    My way of doing it is to put a strict limit of how many I'm working on and when I can work on what. For me that means no more than two projects (except maybe the rare flash-fiction type thing that I can write in one or two sittings for practice). It also means establishing which one is the main project and which one is the side project - and setting the rule that the side project is only allowed to work when I totally burn out on the main project. (I worked on the side project for over a month late last year - then the main project snapped into focus and I haven't touched the side project since, even though I love both worlds).

    Different people do it different ways, so there's no right answer, but my advice would be to work on whatever you want BUT make sure you have at least one project identified as the "I MUST FINISH THIS" project that you have to push through even when it gets hard.
     
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  7. ChaosReigns
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    ChaosReigns Be Still and Know Contributor

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    as everyone has said, its down to the writer, personally i'm a one project at a time person, if i have another idea, ill make note and plan it alongside writing my other project, but wont start writing it until i have finished writing the previous one
     
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  8. Yerocsema
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    Yerocsema New Member

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    I have a ton of irons in the fire, something like 9 short stories and 4-5 long term projects. I just write whatever comes to mind so I can get it onto paper or word document and not forget the ideas I had, sometimes I come back and combine two ideas together to make a great amalgamation. don't sequester your ideas into the form of a book or short story just try to get them down to use it, chances are you come up with more great ideas than you ever get onto a page. The way I look at it, i'm 100% positive I will never use everything I've written, but I want to have a good grab bag to choose from or show people idease. Just remember not to get distracted from your main focus, that's easy for me to say though because I have a central universe that all my stories take place in so they all stay somewhat succinct and along the same train of thought
     
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  9. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    I posed this question to Chris Wooding who is the author of one of my favourite books Poison. He has written and published many other books. He advised against doing this as BayView said, its hard enough to complete 1 novel let alone two and working on two at once might take longer to complete that if you focus and devote your time to one book at a time. There are authors who can manage. I believe Danielle Steal writes 5 books at once but she is very experienced and popular and is a full time author.
     
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  10. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it would be difficult to develop your voice in a particular genre if you keep switching off it on a regular basis. I like to write notes or even some limited story line of a new story when it happens to come to me, but these are just short story ideas. For me even a short story takes quite a bit of time and effort to complete to my own satisfaction, so writing multiple novels would be beyond my reach for sure. As most have said you need to use the method that works for you, but I would suggest not switching stories until you feel compelled to do so, not just because it is a new day. And by compelled I simply mean that a particular story seems to have lost your focus and another story has taken priority in your mind. I also think the concept of picking a particular story as the primary goal to finish is a good one, just use the others to keep the creative juices flowing.
     
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  11. TheWingedFox
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    TheWingedFox Active Member

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    Thanks guys. Danielle Steel,to my knowledge,writes in the same genre,so I'm guessing that it's easier to work on a few projects at the same time if this is the case. ​
    I think my main dilemma is that I don't know where my niche might be,and that if I spend time working on,say,a Sci-Fi story,it may have been better served working on children's genre. If I was producing work in each genre simultaneously,critics might recommend my strengths lying in a certain area and then I could concentrate on that.
    But I can ascertain from my peers that it's not the best path to commence upon,so I'm going to follow suit.
     
  12. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's the "simultaneously" that's the issue, I think, rather than the different genres at all.

    Like, if you write a book in one genre, and then while it's being edited/shopped around/published you write a book in another genre, I think that's a different thing than working on first drafts of different genres at the same time.

    Assuming you're planning to look for a publisher (as opposed to self-publishing) the post-writing stages can be quite long, and it's a good idea to have other projects to work on during that time. So it's not a question of picking one genre and sticking to it forever, necessarily. You know?

    (Although unless you're fairly prolific you may find you need to stick to just one or two genres in order to build an audience, but that's an issue for further down the line.)
     
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  13. Blighters
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    Blighters Member

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    I tend to have a couple things on the go at once. It's probably down to writing in differnt genres and being a recurring starter who struggles to finish anything off! I'm happy to put something on the shelf for a couple weeks/months etc and then pick it up again when I've got some fresh ideas.

    If I were to take my writing more seriously I think I'd try and stick to one main project (novel) and then if I needed a break from it I'd write some short novels. But while it's all just for fun I'm happy to hop from one thing to another!
     
  14. TheWingedFox
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    TheWingedFox Active Member

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    I'm trying to think of any prolific authors who do have success in different genres...
    Is there a Kubrick of the literary world?
    I feel like I want to write,and enjoy it,and have people enjoy reading it. But if my historical fiction is what I should focus on,and that's my 5th idea down the line,then I've got a long wait and lots of disappointment in store.
    Much better,isn't it,for a few people to tell you,'hey,the scary parts of your work are really compelling...focus on that style'.
     
  15. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would suggest to focus on whatever you enjoy writing. If you have to try different genres to find that out then do so. Not sure how much you have written before but if your experience is as limited as mine is, the suggestion of writing short stories might help you choose what you enjoy the most. Most of all write what you want to write and don't worry too much what others judge about your work. Write for yourself first and foremost, IMO.
     
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  16. ZYX
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    ZYX Member

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    I usually have a designated X, Y, and Z project and I'll flip between them as inspiration moves. I try not to focus on more than 3. Kind of like all my projects are in a competition and the top 3 on the leaderboard get worked on ? Right now my third project is flipping around.

    I'm not very productive in general, but this is actually the method that works best for me. More than three and I'm distracted too often and focusing on only one usually leads to me making a new project, haha. I'd say try it for as long as it works and if it's not working try something new.
     
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  17. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    JD Robb and Nora Roberts are in fairly different genres;
    I'd say Stephen King writes in different genres;
    Iain Banks and Iain M. Banks;
    Margaret Atwood;
    JK Rowling and Robert Galbraith;
    Joyce Carol Oates;

    Probably others?
     
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  18. AASmith
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    AASmith Contributing Member

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    Stephen King. He writes short stories, horror, drama, Scifi
     
  19. Missy
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    Missy New Member

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    I find that I do my best writing if I focus on just one project at a time until it's done, at least in rough draft form. If (or when!) other ideas pop up during the process, I'll take a few minutes to jot down the main points of the new ideas so I can explore them after I finish my current WIP.

    I know it works for some writers to go back and forth between projects, but if I do that I'll never finish any of them. I lack the disciplline to go back to something once I've set it aside.
     
  20. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I do it occasionally one always gets neglected, though. I prefer to work on a novel and a short. Two novels it feels like you're rowing two yachts across the ocean. With a novel and a short it feels like the short is a dingy that you can skim to an island and celebrate your success at getting somewhere. :)

    But it might be easier if you're used to writing novels - or quickie novels. Certain genres or types can be easier for people to write. Ann M Martin, Babysitter's club fame, I think she was writing a novel a month.
     
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