Monday, December 15, 2008

How many is too many?

Hey everyone, hope you all had a terrific weekend. I've been working like crazy on my writing, trying to get caught up, I'm sooo behind. One of the reasons is I've got several works in process (WIPs) going at the same time. I know, that's probably not the best idea, but I can't seem to help it. It just sort of happens to me. I've got at least 4 different WIPs that I've started writing, not counting the ideas I've stored away for later use. Sometimes, I think I must be crazy.

When I started writing, I was lucky to write one complete story. I don't know how many books I started writing, only to get about 30 or 40 pages in and get stuck. Ah, those poor discarded manuscripts. When I finally did finish a complete book, I was thrilled, but it was a full year before I was able to do it again. Since that time, I've written three complete stories and have several more in the works. It's hard to believe.

I've heard many authors state that they can't write more than one story at a time. Others, like me, have several going. I guess each person has their own style and way of doing things. Both ways have their positive and negative sides. I'm not saying one way is better than the other. To each his or her own. Find your style and go with it, that's my opinion. Just do it, as Nike would say.

Honestly, I didn't set out to write more than one book at a time. I actually started the first one for a challenge. Fast Draft, the goal to write a book in two weeks time. Well, at least about 50k anyway, not necessarily a whole book for some people. At any rate, I made my goal, but didn't finish the story. After the two weeks was up, life got in the way, I was tired, I had other more pressing matters to attend to, pick your excuse... I stopped writing it. For a little while, I focused my attention on revising my other stories. I had two that needed revision so I figured that would be a good time to do it. When the time came to get back to my writing, I just wasn't feeling it for that story. Maybe I burned myself out on it, I don't know. At any rate, I didn't want to not write, so I started another, thinking I would finish it and return to the first. LOL, that didn't happen.

Shortly, thereafter, I was asked by two other authors to write a novella with a combined theme in order to sub it for an anthology. I liked the idea, and guess what? I accepted. So, now I had three works in process.

Ok, that's enough to give you an idea of how it happened. I won't bore you with the rest of the story. The fact of the matter is, I've done it and now I have to finish them all up. I write on each of them at different times, depending on my mood. This is one of the benefits I was speaking of earlier. The problem is, negative side here, that sometimes you can lose sight of the story and end up never finishing. I hope that doesn't happen.

How do you write? Do you focus on one story at a time or do you have several going at once? Have you tried both ways? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think. I can't wait to hear your methods.

5 deadly screams:

Gracen Miller said...

Morning, Sierra! Well, I used to be a one WIP at a time girl. But then, like you, I agreed to write an anthology, so I had two books going at once. For me, that created mass confusion and I eventually had to scrap one to write the other. I couldn't keep them straight in my head.

Now, the anthology has been canceled and I've decided to add more to that storyline instead of keeping it at 20k. It felt like it was lacking something from the beginning anyway. But, that now means I have two books going at once--again. *sigh*

I'm still trying to stick to one book right now though and as soon as I finish it, I'll go back to the other.

Molly Daniels said...

I usually have at least 2 wips going at the same time, but one will usually grab my attention for a couple of weeks and I'll either finish it or write until the muse is exhausted. And then it's on to the next one. And sometimes the other characters refuse to talk to me, so I'll move on to another project until they decide to cooperate:)

Judith Leger said...

Hi Ya Sierra!

Most of the time, I work on several things at once. Sometimes though it's just one tale that captures my attention! Go for it. If this is what makes you comfortable then do it. I know I work really well under pressure. The deadline sharpens my thoughts!

Sarah Mäkelä said...

Hi Sierra, I used to be like you with working on a story until I got to about 15k-20k into the novel, then getting bored or losing sight of that manuscript or even getting a new idea that overshone the others. I'd stop on the one I was working on to write the new one and be stuck with the same situation again and again. I finished a novella and two short stories, which made me happy, but then I hadn't been able to finish anything else until I did Nano in 2005 and completed Melody of Love. I felt amazing, but then I was back to the hamster wheel of not being able to finish a novel until August of this year. Now I've been pushing myself (almost a little too hard) to reach that awe of completing something again, which leads me to my response! LOL I have two main wips I'm working on right now, and one that's on the backburner, but close by if I decide to work on it. Now I know that's not going to help me finish any one novel sooner, but I'm hoping that it'll keep my muse fresh and going. I think you should do whatever it takes to get the results you want. *HUGS*

Sierra Wolfe said...

Thanks for the comments. It's nice to hear how everyone else works. It shows how different we all are, yet working toward the same goals. Just goes to show there's more than one way to completion. Good luck with all of your writing!