How many projects do you work on at once?

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Ermo
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How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by Ermo » December 7th, 2009, 12:24 pm

I am currently working on four books in various states of completion right now - all of them still not worthy of querying an agent/publisher about. I find that when a new idea comes into my head, I'm fearful of losing it and move to get some planning done and perhaps a chapter written to get an idea of how good of an idea it might be. I'm curious to see how other people manage this and how many different projects you each work on. Thanks.

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Nathan Bransford
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by Nathan Bransford » December 7th, 2009, 12:26 pm

I'm a definite one-at-a-time kind of person.

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dmarie84
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by dmarie84 » December 7th, 2009, 12:29 pm

It depends. Normally I work on one novel idea at a time, but if I'm inspried by an idea for a short story, I'll switch gears and work on that for a little while. I find that it's nice to have a few smaller side projects in order to keep from getting burned out on the novel idea.
The pleasantest of all diversions is to sit alone under the lamp, a book spread out before you, and to make friends with people of a distant past you have never known.--Yoshida Kenko, Essays in Idleness

My blog: Tales from the Writing Front

NathanM
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by NathanM » December 7th, 2009, 12:36 pm

I agree about having to write down ideas so as to not lose them, but I also have to force myself to continue pushing forward on the current project, otherwise I would never get it done. So I guess I fall into the one at a time category as well.

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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by HeatherLane » December 7th, 2009, 12:45 pm

In the past, I've stuck to one at a time, but when Nano came around, I started a draft while revising a ms. I like that rhythm. Drafting uses a completely different set of imanginative tools than revision. And it makes me feel like I'm getting somewhere. So, two. Two at a time.

tchann
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by tchann » December 7th, 2009, 12:49 pm

I've always had the problem of too many ideas and too little commitment. My history is flooded with half-started projects that never fully got off the ground, let alone landed safely. When it comes to something that takes longer than a weekend to complete, I don't finish it.

With all that said...when I started writing my book back in August, I swore to myself I would write every day during my lunch break. I would write that story and nothing else, and that was all there was to it. And somehow I'm a handful of chapters from the end and I'm so incredibly excited I'm scared I'm going to fall apart. But since I only write the story during lunch, that lets me indulge my creative ADD during the rest of the day. I'm getting one thing done while doing a million other things, and it feels fantastic. :D

ScottyDan
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by ScottyDan » December 7th, 2009, 1:08 pm

Perhaps down the road, if and when I ever become a compotent novel writer, I can try multiple projects. But right now, one is more than enough.

brainbliss
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by brainbliss » December 7th, 2009, 1:10 pm

I have to work on one thing at a time. In between drafts, I can't write anything else. I need that time to decompress, I guess. I recently signed with an agent who started me on a revision of my YA novel. I was expecting my query time to be longer than 2 weeks (I'm not complaining), and I started working on my next novel idea. Of course, as soon as I hear back from said agent, I had to ditch the chapter I'd written and start back in to my old book.

I'm wondering how people have dealt with this stop-start behavior? I'm going to start working on the novel again when my book goes out to editors, but am almost dreading getting into the story or whatever because if the book gets bought I have to start working on THAT one again....


Anyway, glad to see another writing forum pop up!

Alexandra Little
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by Alexandra Little » December 7th, 2009, 1:11 pm

I am currently working on two/three, depending on how you look at them. One I am rewriting/editing, and hopefully it will be ready for submission in January. The second one is a first draft. I think two works for me, because if I get sick of seeing one manuscript I can turn to the other and it helps to recharge my brain.

The reason I say two/three is that I have another idea I am kind of working on--more brainstorming and random squiggling than anything--which needs a lot more basic background work before I buckle down and write it.
WIP #1: young adult fantasy, rewriting/editing
WIP #2: young adult fantasy, first draft
WIP #3: young adult fantasy, twinkle in the author's eye

casnow
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by casnow » December 7th, 2009, 1:58 pm

I read something by Cormac McCarthy the other day and he said that he used to have 3 or 4 projects going at a time... so it's definitely possible to write great novels in batches.

However, I'm not the type of person that makes outlines, so I generally stick to writing one thing at a time. I can't keep the character details straight if I try to do more than one thing at a time.

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Susan Quinn
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by Susan Quinn » December 7th, 2009, 2:00 pm

I used to write just one project at a time, even if I had other ideas lurking in the background. But now that I have a WIP that is going through beta readers and revisions, I find myself hopping back and forth between projects - and liking that better. There are different things to like about each stage of the writing: the raw creative part in the beginning, the craft part of revisions, the excitement of nearing the end of a draft. It's good to break it up a little.
Susan Kaye Quinn (young adult and middle grade author)
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ElisabethMoore
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by ElisabethMoore » December 7th, 2009, 2:34 pm

Susan Quinn wrote:There are different things to like about each stage of the writing: the raw creative part in the beginning, the craft part of revisions, the excitement of nearing the end of a draft. It's good to break it up a little.
I have been thinking about this. My first novel will go into initial revisions in January. I finished it, but I am letting it sit a bit. In the meantime, I am spending time with other ideas, trying to choose one to go with. My intent it to have only one project at any given stage: outlining, first draft, revisions. However, I do make notes to myself any time a new story idea hits me.

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Rick Daley
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by Rick Daley » December 7th, 2009, 3:42 pm

The greater the number of projects I work on concurrently, the lesser the chance of my completing any of them.

I used to have a pretty good schedule where I would write for WIP #1 in the early morning and WIP #2 in the evenings. I was doing great until an agent wanted to work with me on WIP #3, which then became my sole focus. Now WIP #3 has been revised and submitted and I'm waiting for feedback (NOTE : arrrghhh!!!) so I need to get back into another WIP, but I can't decide between #1 and #2.

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Scott
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by Scott » December 7th, 2009, 4:42 pm

I've found I need to concentrate on one at a time, so as not to confuse my voice which can undergo subtle variations between projects. That said, I've got more than one music project going and I'm writing fiction for an animator which lets me break things up.

UtterInanity
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Re: How many projects do you work on at once?

Post by UtterInanity » December 7th, 2009, 5:03 pm

One at a time actively, but my subconscious is always working on half a dozen other things.

At the moment, I'm focused on short stories, but novel revisions are in the back of my head, waiting for me to get back to it.
Free fantasy short stories at http://stories.osterin.com

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