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Thread: Two separate novels at the same time?

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Benedetto Youssef's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Two separate novels at the same time?

    Do you guys ever work on two separate novels or ideas at the same time? I'm asking because I have my main work that I've been brainstorming and working for years now, but I find myself wanting to work on the other ideas that formed in my head since. How do you go about balancing your passion projects and your other writing interests?

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW rwm4768's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    I usually don't have any problem if they're in different stages. I can edit one while writing another, or brainstorm one while writing another. I've never tried doing two in the writing stage at the same time, though.

  3. #3
    New Member Ian Isaro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    I only do the primary writing on one project at a time, but I think it's natural to have different projects at different stages. It's a rare writer that has only one story idea.

    As for balancing, if you haven't finished the first draft of a book yet, my advice is to finish that. You can play with ideas for other stories, but get a book finished instead of leaping to new projects. Once you've gotten to the editing stage you can start writing other things.

  4. #4
    Dr. Sniffles will see you now. A Li Shan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    In the land of Peking Duck
    I like to have one main WIP and one 'escape' WIP, where I can go when I'm sick of looking at the main WIP.
    If you find yourself wanting to work on other ideas, why not give it a whirl? Your main work may benefit from the fresh perspective you get when moving between two different projects.
    Allison: born in the Year of the Horse, in the Month of the Snake, on the Day of the Horse, in the Hour of the Tiger. That's me.

    Non-fiction: A Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man: Jing Hao and his Works

    Horror genre: The Valley View Haunting

  5. #5
    Walking Anachronism davidh219's Avatar
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    Sep 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Well, I'm currently working on a first draft of two different books. It seems crazy, I know, but it's working out alright. I also work on short stories here and there too. What I've realized is that I have a LOT of ideas I want to try out, but the vast majority of them naturally fit a short story format. Rare for me is the idea that could carry a novel, so I'm not too worried about a third idea popping up that would cause me to start working on three books at the same time.
    “Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop
    Than when we soar.”
    ― William Wordsworth

  6. #6
    Learning About New Fish Trevor Z's Avatar
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    Dec 2012
    Not usually, but I do as of right now.

    I kind of like that if I get tired or stuck on one, I can hop over to the other, write for a bit, and still feel like I accomplished something for the day.

  7. #7
    Inarticulate Herb MumblingSage's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    in a certain state of mind
    I have 2 pennames and I'm currently working on (at least) 2 book-length projects for each. Plus short stories. It's doable, and I echo what others have said about 'escape', but I absolutely would _not_ recomend starting it until you have finished at least one novel. Then you can start on the second draft of it while puttering with others. But if you go out and start two or three or five or fifteen stories without ever going back to finish them, you'll just wind up with a very cluttered trunk.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW Mark W.'s Avatar
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    Apr 2010
    It's ok to do if it keeps both ideas fresh. But it can become a distraction if you always start a project without finishing them because of the new shiny on the horizon.
    WIP: Fantasy Novel: Altar of Heaven

    Urban Fantasy? Excalibur

    Night Walker published by PillHill Press in How the West was Wicked

  9. #9
    υπείκωphobe Wilde_at_heart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Southern Ontario
    I used to alternate but I find I work more effectively if I concentrate on completing a single draft of one first, then go back to another project so I can get some distance from it.
    Now I'm just plugging away until I finish, because sometimes juggling several or even two different stories means that none of them are ever completed.

  10. #10
    Boldly going nowhere in particular. Jess Haines's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Tampa, FL
    I work on anywhere from 1 to 5 different projects in a given week. Usually just one when I'm on deadline. Do whatever works for you.
    Jess Haines
    The Official Antichrist of Pie / Twitter / Facebook

    "It doesn't get much better for pure urban fantasy than Jess Haines." --All Things Urban Fantasy

    Latest Title: Smoke and Mirrors

  11. #11
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've tried working on two novels at the same time, but quickly found out that trying to switch between first-person present tense and third-person past tense was a recipie for disaster.

    I do have my next book planned (it's awesome, I'm excited) and that helps keeps me motivated while I'm slugging through redrafts on my current WIP.

    I agree with what a lot of people have said above about having too many projects on the go at once. Unless you're disciplined, the temptation to start one project after another is and not finish any of them can be huge.
    Current WIP
    Hero. A science fiction adventure about a young telepath and her genetically engineered familiar.

    Twitter @belindacrawford


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