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Old 02-04-2013, 07:49 AM   #1
Benedetto Youssef
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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?
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:49 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:10 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:14 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:15 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:26 AM   #10
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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.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:44 AM   #11
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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.
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