"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Balancing Act





So I was wondering the other day if an author could balance two projects at the same time (more specifically an author without the benefit of a staff, editor, or agent to help them out). Do you think you could give equal attention to two different stories at once? Do you think you could keep the characters from melding into the other story? Would you ever attempt it? Or do you think sticking to one story at a time is the way to go?

What would you do?

14 comments:

Totsymae said...

That is a challenging task, juggling two stories at once. I would say if they are contrasting types of works, say an essay and short story, it would be relatively easier than two stories. Maybe two different genres would be okay but a bit of planning would have to be in place.

I'm trying to start a new project, where I'm integrating my art and complete a short story collection, so I'll have to see how that goes. Since one is about me and the other is fictional, combined with some autobiographical content, I'll have to see how it all plays out.

Susan Bearman said...

I have many writing projects going on at once. Most are in different stages of development, some are in different genres. And that doesn't even count the writing I do for my freelance clients. I don't have the luxury to work on one thing at a time. And different stories and/or characters speak to me at different times, too. I've never had a problem with the characters melding. In fact, I think a little distance can help.

Beverly Diehl said...

Much, much harder, but do-able, IMO. I write two blogs - one on writing, one on mental health and recovery issues, and I try to write 2-3 posts for each at a time, rather than ping-ponging back and forth. It takes a great deal of mental energy to switch gears, and although I might take a break from my novel in progress to write a short piece with different characters, I'm not sure *I* could handle 2 (or more) novels at once and do a decent job. Writing in Flow

Annie Boreson said...

I have to do one project at a time or everything goes haywire. Suddenly one character from one story is in bed with another character from another, and everyone sounds alike. Wish I was more clever!

RYCJ OEBooks Publisher said...

Like Susan I too have many, many projects going at once. Handling several projects at once is the only way I get my exercise, to which I was so grateful to read an article on how this type of exercise is actually equivalent to a workout at the gym. But I had an inkling this was the case, because with the way I eat...Oh Man...there's no way I could manage my weight; ugh the ninth or tenth project I have going!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I tried that once. Characters hopped around. Literally. My copy editor caught one stowing away on Before Ever After's tour bus. TRUE STORY. :D

doreen said...

I always work on 3 projects at one time. If I get stuck on one I put it away for a day or 2 and work on something else.
I have just always worked like that.

C.M. Villani said...

Totsymae - I would agree with you that it would be easier if they were different genres to juggle the two. I guess my mind was more focused on novel length projects.

Good luck with your project! Hope it goes well.

C.M. Villani said...

Susan - You are certainly at a different stage of the game than I am. I'm sure getting to the point where you are will pose a whole bunch of new challenges.

I hope that I will be up to those challenges when time comes.

C.M. Villani said...

Beverly - I find blogs are so much harder to write!! I certainly couldn't handle two full time blogs at once. But given that example I think I would work best just focusing on the one.

I just have a tendency to get antsy when I'm working on one project, because my characters from other projects keep popping into my head trying to show me how some scene should go. Its quite aggrivating that they won't wait their turn! hahahaha

C.M. Villani said...

Annie - that is exactly what I think will happen if I try to attempt it. I think I am like you...stick with one and get it done.

C.M. Villani said...

RYCJ - Man I wish I was like you! hahaha ...I have to force my butt to the gym otherwise all heck would break loose on my waistline. :D

C.M. Villani said...

Sam - hahaha. I'd love to see who it was. :) Yeah I am starting to realize that I'm a one project kind of girl. Its the only way I'll finish.

C.M. Villani said...

Doreen - I wish I was like that but I don't think I'd make much progress on my work that way. I'd flounder a lot more that way. oh well...back to my project and I'll just have to keep at it.

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