1. Moneica
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    Moneica Member

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    Writing more than one book at a time

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Moneica, Apr 6, 2014.

    I have been working on this same story for awhile. But I have had many other ideas pop in my mind while doing so. So my question is. Do most people have more than one story going at a time, or do you finish what you have going now and start a new one once the first is finished?
    And if you have more than one going, does it ever conflict your writing in another story?
    Is it better just to make notes on the other stories and keep your mind focused on the story at hand that you started first?
    I am very interested in what you all have to say on this matter.
    Thanks bunches
    Moe
     
  2. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I've got a pile I'm working on now. A nanowrite novel - Pecking Order - which is 120 pages in, another novel which I'm also working on. I'm really battling over the technique I chose so it's slow going. I jot down ideas for my third novel The Dolls. But mainly I'm focused on the first draft of a short story - The Worms of Wicher-Woo and I'm almost done. While I've been writing that, I came up with two other short stories which I started. One I finished, a flash called Tree of Men and one is still in the works hesitantly called Cockroach Apocalypse.

    Usually I only focus on one but when a scene is crying out to be written, I'll set what I'm working on aside and write it out. Making notes about where to continue when I pick it back up. Then I go back to what I'm working on. Which is why a short story can take me anywhere for 2 days to write to three weeks.

    Not really. Sometimes it does, at one point I got confused over what guy was doing what in what story - lol. For me it only
    works when the stories or characters are dissimilar enough not to influence or mimic each other. I've got two stories with young, spunky girl characters but I'd never work on them at the same time.

    I do this. Sometimes an idea will come and I'm like -not not now too much on my plate! So I'll write out the idea and put it in a folder. It all depends on how you like to work. I like working on a handful that way I never get bored. :)
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I work on multiple projects at the same time, and I've never had any conflicts. Working on the same thing can get boring after a while.

    The important thing to remember here is that you should do what works best for you. Every writer is different.
     
  4. Moneica
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    Moneica Member

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    See that's what I'm thinking, I have all these other ideas in my head, and I just don't want to jumble everything up.
    So I have side notes everywhere.
     
  5. Moneica
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    Moneica Member

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    I'm scared that if I try and do to much at one time. My writing will show it.
     
  6. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, we do that with @KaTrian. We have about a dozen novels underway, most of them already have the first drafts done or are almost done, but they still need some serious revisions and rewrites. One story we're going to rewrite from scratch, only using the basic structure of the original as well as a lot of the dialogue, and just last night I got several ideas for that story and jotted them down even though we're presently working on another piece.

    Sometimes it's good to let a new draft sit for a while, like a few months, so if we need to do that, we just focus on one of the other stories for a while.
     
  7. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I'm envious of everyone who can creatively multitask...my brain just can't handle that! For the most part I have my one main WIP and when I need a mental and emotional break from it, I'll putz around with one or two other short or children's stories and occasionally poetry. My problem is if I leave something I've started that I'm not completely invested in yet, I won't go back to for a long time, if ever. I have a slew of 1/4 written stories abandoned because I got frustrated or a new story popped in my head while working and I moved on and forgot to go back, or I eventually went back and just wasn't into it anymore and couldn't be bothered to start fresh. Now, I'll just take notes of new ideas as they come and file them away until I have actual time and motivation to dedicate to them and keep my focus on the main project. It's the only way I actually get things written from start to finish.
     
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  8. ddavidv
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    ddavidv Contributing Member

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    One at a time for me. I read one book at a time as well. I just can't be distracted jumping from one project to another. I immerse myself in the one in front of me.

    Now, I will confess I wrote a 'prequel' to the project I'm working on as a possible free download to tempt people to buy my novel when it's done. I did this during the work on the current WIP, but I found when I wrote the prequel I could not bring myself or my 'head' to also work on the novel itself. I had to stick with one or the other.
     
  9. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I only work on one novel at a time, but I almost always take quick breaks and do short stories along the way to renew my energy/enthusiasm and regain perspective, I guess. There are a lot of writers who can work on multiple projects, but they seem to be 'veterans' - ie, have learned the discipline and focus necessary to switch around. I would say that if you can keep moving forward on each project, then go ahead. But if you find yourself just jumping around and not really progressing, it's time to put some on the back burner.
     
  10. Moneica
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    Moneica Member

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    Well I am glad to know I am not the only one that needs to do one thing at a time when it comes to writing.:)
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I generally have one project that I am working on, and if it is in the initial writing stage, the only time I turn my attention to anything else is if I hit a dry spell or just feel I need a change of pace, in which case I'll turn to some other ideas I've set aside or perhaps start to brew up a new one for future consideration. If I'm either researching for a future project or editing a current one, I will take regular breaks to feed the need to be creative.
     
  12. Magnatolia
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    Magnatolia Active Member

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    I usually write a project and if I get tired of it, I'll move onto something else for a while. If ideas come up for other stories I'll write them down and maybe even start a sketchy fish-bone map for what I have for the story.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've always been working on several major projects at a time... but not everyone can do that, so don't feel 'inferior' or whatever if you can't focus on more than one... just makes you [and i] 'different'... ;)

    hugs, m
     
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  14. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a friend who is typically working with the editors of her latest accepted book, editing the latest finished book, writing the latest WIP, and planning the latest idea.

    I hate her.

    :D
     
  15. xanadu
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    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

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    In the long long ago I used to try to do a novel and short stories at the same time. I ended up finishing nothing. It took me 4 years before I realized I needed to focus in on one thing and drive it to completion. It only took me another few months before I had a finished first draft. Using that same discipline and focus I produced 3 more first drafts over the next two years. So it looks like one thing at a time is the way that works best for me.

    Problem is, I keep getting new ideas. So now that I know I have the discipline I think I'm going to try 2 novels at a time. I'm about 50% sure it'll work. We'll see how it goes.

    But it's all about figuring out what works best for you. All that matters is finishing--if you don't ever finish anything, you have to regroup and work out a new strategy. Finishing takes discipline, and it's easy to get distracted by a fresh, new idea when you've been working on the same old same old for months. The key is knowing that you'll eventually come back and finish that old one. For me that took a lot of time and practice.
     
  16. Moneica
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    Moneica Member

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    Thank all of you who have replied. I think for me, I will stay writing one at a time. I get distracted to easily. :D
     

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