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Old 07-29-2012, 09:39 AM   #1
David Munch
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Post How many stories do you work on simultaneously?

As an aspirering writer with several stories to tell, I've started work on three stories. But I find it a bit hard to stay focused, because I'm jumping between them all the time. and at the same time writing notes here and there for other potential stories.

I know each person does things differently, but how do you guys do it? Focus on one story until it is done, or do you write on several at a time?

Any advice for a novice is helpfull.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:48 AM   #2
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Usually 2, but I find it easy to switch between them. Much harder is not starting a 3rd and 4th until I've at least finished a first draft of one of the others. I had 5 on the go once, but only managed to finish one before I lost interest.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:00 AM   #3
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I consider myself still a novice, so I'm not here to offer advice, just my experience: Since I started writing a few years ago I found that ideas come to me as they never did back when I only thought about writing but never actually did any, and I do collect these ideas and sometimes add to them ... but I don't concentrate on them (despite having a few I am looking forward to exploring). I know myself well enough that I know I am single-tracked (a polite way of saying obsessive), which makes mixing writing and paid-work really hard, so I concentrate on just the story I am currently trying to complete. Unexpectedly this has now turned into writing two books at once (one is a background thing that may or may not see the light of day). Both are really part of the one story, so I'm still in the same world, but even so I find I have to concentrate on just one (usually for weeks or months at a time) or nothing gets done on either. (I recognise this obsessive nature is a fault in my own make-up, but one that I am not currently planning on trying to "fix".)
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:49 PM   #4
Harper Kingsley
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Probably 5 or 6, though I'm trying to get myself to focus on just one.

Just tooling around, I go from one story to another as the mood strikes me. But if I'm on a deadline, I can focus on one story and just soldier through until it's done. I know that sounds like it's some horrible experience, but I love it when I'm in the moments of a story. Does that make sense?

It just feels good to be with those characters and explore their world, sometimes I don't want it to end so I stretch out the writing and let myself procrastinate. When I just bull my way through a story, it's like all the pleasure of writing is combined so it's just like one really big hit. It feels great to be finished and for a couple of days I walk around in a daze, then it's over and I feel sad until I get into something else.
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Old 07-29-2012, 04:13 PM   #5
HistoryWes
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I start stories all the time. I may work my way through a chapter or two, and then set it aside, coming back to it after writing something else. Then I tend to flip from one story to another, writing a bit here and there, until something catches. Suddenly I have a compulsion to write until I finish the story. At that point I can't work on anything else until it's done.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
Edward M. Grant
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Far too many. I'm trying to focus on finishing stories rather than starting new ones.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:36 PM   #7
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Only one at a time, for me. I want to do more, but I don't switch gears easily, so I stay focused.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:01 AM   #8
James_Wilde
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One at a time. It's hard enough as it is to keep all the non-critical events in your mind the way your memories of real life are. I'd never cope with keeping track of the memories of all the characters in two or more books at the same time. Besides, I want to know what happens next in the story I'm writing.

Having said that, I got the idea for my third book quite early on in the writing of my second, and suddenly had an idea for the critical event which starts the story, so I took time off to write the first two chapters, which handle that critical event. Not necessarily a bad idea as I like the idea of putting three chapters of the next book at the end of the previous one as a kind of advertisement. However, events are dangerously near to catching up with me, and the subject of the third book is now being discussed in the newspapers here, so the whole question may have been resolved under the year or so it takes me to write a book, and I'm wondering whether to continue with it.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:21 AM   #9
VydorScope
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Actively only one. But sometimes, I pull chapters from my current work and keep them as a basis for another story. For example I just did that with my current project so I have about 15k words set aside for my next book.
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Old 07-30-2012, 07:32 AM   #10
Steven Lake
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I'm like VydorScope, I only actively develop one story at a time, but I have a bunch, sometimes as many as 6 that are considered "in progress". That's usually because I tend to follow the ideas wherever they lead, so if the ideas today are coming from one particular book, I'll work on that one till the ideas stall, and if ideas from another book are picking up and need to be addressed I'll put down my current one and pick up the other one for a while.
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Old 07-31-2012, 04:56 AM   #11
morriss003
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Three or four at least. This week I've worked on four different novels. It's a great way to avoid writer's block.
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Old 07-31-2012, 03:07 PM   #12
Steven Lyle Jordan
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I sometimes develop multiple stories, but I only write one at a time... that's more than enough.
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:54 PM   #13
Lloyd Tackitt
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One. I focus in on it, hunt it down and...but then I can only do one thing at a time anyway. When a new story idea pops up I write it down and save it for later.
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Old 07-31-2012, 10:50 PM   #14
Steven Lake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morriss003 View Post
Three or four at least. This week I've worked on four different novels. It's a great way to avoid writer's block.
Yeah, that's another good way to put it. Rotation based on ideas is best. I'm presently down to working on just one story (the others got temporarily shelved) and hitting a real case of persistent writers block because of it.
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Old 08-01-2012, 10:47 PM   #15
MichaelJScott
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I've got four I'm actively working on, with a few others I tinker with now and then. Glad to see I'm not the only one working on multiple projects at once. Everyone else in my writer's group only does one at a time.
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