04 March 2020

Multiple Projects, Multiple Options

It's the first Wednesday of the month, which means it's the posting day for the Insecure Writer's Support Group! Click here to learn more and sign up! This month's awesome co-hosts are Jacqui MurrayLisa Buie-CollardNatalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence! Wait a second! I missed one...hold on...need my glasses...Sarah Foster? Never heard of her...


Hi! Welcome! If you've never been here before...sorry, I'm weird. 

This month's optional question is: Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories? 

Not really. I've definitely never inserted any of my own traditions or customs into my stories. The closest thing I can think of is in Uneven Lines, it's kind of a periodic ritual for Jordan and his mom to eat ice cream together. It's something that happened a lot more when he was little, but as he gets older and their relationship gets more strained, it happens less often (and not until Chapter 14!). But I think it helps to show they can have their moments of a normal mother/son relationship. 

Now I want some ice cream...

I'm a little scatterbrained lately. Kind of all over the place. I keep jumping from one story idea to another, letting my thoughts (and fingers, when I actually sit down to write) fly free. And you know what? I kinda like it. 

Ok, so I KNOW my main focus should be Chapter 28 of Uneven Lines. I'm so so close to finishing that third draft. However, it's probably the most difficult chapter to write, for more reasons than I can count. And the words are not coming easily to me. I'm chipping away at it very slowly, but at least at this point it is no longer a blank page with nothing but "Twenty-Eight" at the top. 

But I also have other projects I want to work on. There's my NaNo win from last November, Sexy Fluff #1 (I'll come up with a title eventually...), then there's the exciting, action packed, although not quite as sexy but I'm still calling it Sexy Fluff #2 (see above), and how could I forget Shiny New Story (what's a title?)?? Although it isn't really shiny OR new at this point. 

The thing is, I want to write all of these books, too. And I figure, if I can't make the words happen with UL, it's better to be writing SOMETHING than nothing at all. So I've been doing a bit of story hopping lately, just trying to get my ideas down whenever they strike me. I completed an unfinished chapter in SF#1, outlined SF#2, and lately a lot has been coming to me with SNS, so I've been writing that for the past few days. I've been keeping track of my word counts in my fancy planner, really just trying to up the word counts for everything every week, even if it's just a little bit. 

Look, it even worked the first week! 


Did it work the next week? Well...sort of...two of them went up...but one was UL! So yay! 

I think I just like having the options. If I'm stuck on one story, I can work on a different one. If a particular scene pops into my head, it's ok to write it, no matter what story it is. Also having some first draft freedom with my other stories is nice since UL is in its third draft and I want everything to be PERFECT. It's nice to change to something with less pressure. 

In the end, aren't some words better than no words? 

Do you work on multiple stories at once? What's your favorite flavor of ice cream? 

73 comments:

  1. Happy IWSG Day Sarah. I do like to generate more story ideas at once but when I write I can only do when at a time so the character voices don't get mixed in my head. My favorite flavor of ice cream? I love cookies and cream :)

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  2. I know the feeling of having too many stories playing out in my head. You're more organized than I am though. Sometimes I am asked if I ever get bored. Are they kidding? I have more fun in my head than binge watching Netflix...well, no...that's not true...but almost. Happy thinking!

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  3. Multiple stories would confuse me. But since it works for you, just keep hopping around.

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  4. I love your working titles! Maybe you should keep Sexy Fluff as the permanent title. It's cute and catchy. :)

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  5. I totally agree with Ellen's comment above. My working titles are usually just the first name of the main character - your titles are so much more fun!

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  6. I can see how not following a tradition can be as important to a story as having the characters continue with it.

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  7. Some words are always better than no words. I'm having difficulty finishing my current WIP, so I totally relate. I'm working on tons of other stuff. I feel good about working, but you're right, that unfinished ms is still haunting me. Maybe we can wish completion for each other and get those pieces done this month! Thanks for co-hosting, Sarah, (Sarah, who I've heard of many many many times!)

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  8. I've tried to work on more than one story at a time, but have yet to find success at it. One usually takes over. Saying that, I've been mapping out my new MG at the same time I've been mapping out my new YA, so maybe I'll find success at writing both simultaneously. Favorite ice cream flavor: mocha or mint chocolate chip. I can't decide! Thank you for co-hosting!

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  9. Yes definitely some words are better than no words! I have a hard time writing more than one thing at a time, but sometimes I do just need to write something different. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  10. I can read multiple books at once, but I've never written multiple stories at once. I'd be pleased to settle back down and work on one story. I've been letting family illnesses and school breaks derail my writing--again.

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  11. While I always have a zillion ideas floating about, being ADD/OCD I have to concentrate on one or I'd never get that next book out. I've been in three different levels of working on books for different publishers ie first draft, revisions and line edits, but never jumping from plot to plot. Anything coffee-flavored as far as ice cream! Get in my belly! Thanks for co-hosting this month, Sarah!!

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  12. I love your working titles! I lack the talent for juggling multiple stories, but I can write one and edit another. Does that count? Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  13. That is a lot of stories at once--I'm impressed! I track word count on my calendar. That makes it pretty easy and it's always there. Good luck with your stories!

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  14. I think jumping from one story to another is a seasonal affliction. I seem to come down with it at the end of winter just before spring.

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  15. Hard to go wrong with ice cream. Juggling can be tough, but I've found it helpful to work on something else if I'm stuck with another. :)

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  16. Nothing wrong with an abundance of story ideas. When one isn't working, switch to the next one.

    Thanks for co-hosting this month!

    Mary at Play off the Page

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  17. Hi,

    I wish you all the best with chapter 28. When a chapter plays an important role, it is easy to get bogged down so I hope the creative spirit flows within you as you tackle the chapter.
    Thank you also for co-hosting.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  18. I used to work on multiple books at once, but it's much harder for me to do that now. When I'm really passionate and motivated about one book, I want to devote all my attention to it instead of dividing my time and thus taking longer to finish it.

    My favorite ice-cream flavors are chocolate peanut butter and green pistachio.

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  19. For some writers, changing gears like that really helps. Last year, I did it with 3 stories. I wrote a chapter on one then hopped over to the next. I finished all those drafts.

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  20. I usually write on more then one project. My mind thinks it has to multi-task.

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  21. I get caught up story hopping all the time. I'll change something in book 2, then reflect on how that affects book 3, and while I'm there I should figure out that villain for book 3.5, and how does that relate to the novellas, and... You get the idea. The freedom is fun. I just hope you don't get overwhelmed like I do and end up with "There's so much I want to do, I can't start anything!"

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  22. I can plan and think about more than one story at a time, but when it comes to actually writing it, it has to be my sole focus.

    Dave
    https://davewrotethis.blogspot.com/

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  23. Story hopping can work very well. I do that when I stall out on one story.

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  24. I have worked on multiple stories at once and have hopped around to whichever one I was feeling at the moment. It came with a real sense of productivity that was a real mood boost that probably kept me writing longer.

    I love cookies & cream.

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  25. When I work on more than one thing at a time it is a disaster. I need to focus on one thing. Whether it is writing my current WIP or cleaning the cat boxes.
    As for ice cream--- if they carried the low-carb ice cream in my grocery stores that they used to have, I would eat any flavor. Though if they had chocolate mint that would be heaven.

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  26. I think you've got the right approach. You sound more excited about your writing now that you are just writing what you want. And I want ice cream too!

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  27. It's fascinating to me, almost every blog I've visited today the authors say the same thing, we don't seem to include any real life traditions or customs in our stories. In a way it makes sense, because we're writing fiction. Anyway, I would be super interested in hearing about your two sexy fluffs. Sexy fluff stories are my very favorite things, lol. Thanks for co-hosting this month!

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  28. My favorite ice cream is brownie fudge.
    Like so many others, I haven't woven traditions into my writing. The closest is my tradition of making a great cup of coffee in the wee hours of the morning before I start writing. Does that count? I didn't think so. ha ha
    Lynn La Vita blog: Writers Supporting Writers

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  29. I love having options, too! It makes my life easier to have two stories going.
    Way to go on your word count!
    Happy Writing!

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  30. Holy cow! I couldn't keep that many stories going, but then I haven't tried. I'm sure I'd get the character from one into the other story and mix up locations. That is waaaaay too much concentration for me.!!! But kudos to you. Yes, it would never get boring this way. Yes, some words on the page are much better than no words. My favorite ice cream?? Moose Tracks.

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  31. I am completely with you! The other day I had 5 Scrivener files open and kept flipping between them all. Fun!!

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  32. I've never been good at working on multiple projects at once. Ice cream traditions are good.

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  33. I have three stories in the mix for my next book and I bounce around between them. It depends on what hits my mood.

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  34. I have ideas and notes for a couple of new stories. Need to settle down and get busy on them because I'm a slow writer. Best wishes to you and your work.

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  35. I've given up all pretense of having a 'system' for managing my projects. I write whatever the hell I feel like writing on any given day. And weird as I am, my favorite ice cream is vanilla. The kind with milk, cream, egg, salt, and vanilla. And nothing else. Been that way since I was a little girl.

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  36. Oh, dear, I want ice cream too.
    I don't usually work on multiple stories, but then, if I'm stuck on my current project, nothing at all gets written. Maybe it is time to re-think that strategy.

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  37. Yeah, I jump to multiple ones as onward I go too.

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  38. I know the feeling of having so many books you want to work on at once. I published 9 books last year. I'm taking it easier this year.

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  39. All words are good. I swear when I’m done with my current book, I’m going to write 2 more books at the same time. Lol.

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  40. I only write one long WIP at a time, but I keep some short story projects going on the side, for days when I just can't on the main project. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  41. Ah, writing is a fickle taskmaster. I have 5 NoNo stories waiting for editing and I may never get back to them. I'm more invested in a Paris romance and a vampire series which I'm not far off publishing. All good. But you must 'finish your book' as Margaret Attwood says.

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  42. I'm trying to juggle multiple works too, but I don't give equal time to both. I'm drafting one story and trying to develop another.

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  43. No writing is wasted writing, and a little writing is better than none. I too occasionally work on multiple projects, but I work better if I'm focused on one. But that's just me.

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  44. I do better focused on one piece of writing at a time, although I have several projects going. I can't remember the name of my favorite ice cream. I get it every time I go back home to Nova Scotia. It's Privateers something, and I love it because it is licorice flavored. When you eat it, you get a black tongue ~ LOL

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  45. I work on multiple books (non-fiction) at once, but only one story at a time. I love rum cherry. You can only get it from ice cream shops that serve Kemps. It's my favorite part of summertime.

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  46. Some words are absolutely better than no words. With short stories, it's easy for me to jump around. I'm not going to say how many I have in process at any given time. ;)

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  47. Oh..How I hear you. I'm sometimes not done with one story but already thinking of another one. It is such a distraction. I'm just trying to balance everything and as of now just hope I can!
    Sonia from https://soniadogra.com

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  48. Ice cream! Time to go shopping :) Even a few words are words. I'm all over the place, right now. Which isn't good, since I really need to get one done. Otherwise, multiple MSs are my preference.

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  49. I do write multiple articles at a time but when it comes to the long forms, I like to stick to one at a time.

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  50. I've seen a few posts where folks talk about rituals/traditions around food. Ice-cream seems like a good one. Favourite ice=cream would probably be something with caramel or chocolate.

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  51. In our family, we get ice cream after every "good" dentist appointment. My favorite is strawberry, though I'll happily share whatever someone else is having ;-)
    Gosh, if it's weird to have several stories or projects going on at once I guess I fit the description. I don't mind ;-)
    Thank you for co-hosting!

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  52. I used to be in at least 2 stories at a time, and I still write snippets in other stories while I'm really focused on one, but not as much.

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  53. I have multiple stories that I am writing or could be writing at any moment. And I have more filed away in my story ideas folder. So you're not alone. My brain and my muse don't seem to understand to stop throwing me ideas already because I have other WIPs to work on and finish.

    The eating ice cream together sounds like a touching tradition. Thanks for co-hosting! :-D

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  54. Yes and Chocolate and Black Cherry Ice Cream (and now I am craving ice cream).

    www.thepulpitandthepen.com

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  55. Born and raised in the great city of Lansing, MI. I worked for Quality Dairy and they had the best Black Cherry ice cream I still get it early and often when I go back to visit family and friends.

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  58. Gah!!! You'd think this is my first time commenting on a blog. I just can't seem to get it right. I apologize for the multiple deletions. *sigh* Here's my message:

    Woohoo! Look at you go! No, I can't split my brain like that--well, I've not tried it because it sounds unappealing to me. I love to complete one book at a time. I get a lot done that way but I do jot down uprising summaries that visit me for the next book! I have a whole nursery of those and as my tbr pile, it's taking way long to get to them because a new one is born so often!

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  59. Hi! I think working on multiple projects simultaneously is a brilliant way to write more. You can actually work on something instead of staring at the blank page willing the words to come. Thanks for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

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  60. I have 2 stories going--one I want to write (25% done) and the other I need to finish (80% done). I'm frustrated with the latter yet if I ditch it (as I've done often) to write the former, I'll never finish. Frustrating. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  61. Weird? Seems completely normal to me. :)

    I always have multiple projects going at once. I think my brain enjoys the chaos. But you're right, if you hit a wall, open another.

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  62. Four stories. Nice! I totally get the creative jumping, especially when ideas spring up for each of them. You'll end up falling in love with one more than the others, and you'll write your heart out of it. Keep at it and enjoy the process!

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  63. My brain zeroed in and halted at "ice cream". Black Cherry. I cannot find it on the Left Coast. Well, it's here but tastes like &$%())@#. However, born and raised in Lansing MI a local chain called Quality Dairy served the very best ever Black Cherry ice cream with the best real black cherries in it. Every time I go back I stop by once a day for a scoop.

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  64. No words are bad words (and that can be read both ways!)
    I love having other go-to projects to work on... what am I (and my muse) in the mood for today?
    and if you get stuck on a scene, here are a couple suggestions: brainstorm and write down options for what’s supposed to happen, or if you know, jot down different “hows” go nuts with crazy ideas, hen your scene will start to present itself!

    and thanks for supporting me and my Beast World campaign!

    Tara Tyler Talks

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  65. I think having more than one idea is a good thing, even though I couldn't deal with it! You never know if something in one of your other projects will inspire the chapter you're stuck on.

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  66. Sorry, signed in with wrong account there!

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  67. I’m impressed that you’re working on so many interesting projects! I also have a hankering for some ice-cream! Whenever we get together with our grown sons, no dinner is complete without cake and ice-cream for dessert.

    Julie

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  68. Thanks for co-hosting this month.
    I've done some story jumping to. Sometimes, doing a little of something here and there is the only way I can get anything done. It's rare for me to start and focus on one project from beginning to end.
    I think it's great you're keeping track of your word counts.
    Yes, some words are better than no words.
    My favorite ice cream flavor at the moment is coffee chocolate chip, and I don't even drink coffee.

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  69. I know all about being scatterbrained! So many ideas flooding your head all at once! LOL!

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  70. Hello Sarah!

    Wow, you are a busy writing bee, and you don't sound too weird to me. Yet. :-)

    I would love to be in a situation where I could write more and put words down whenever inspiration strikes. With my lifestyle (being a full-time nomad in a camper van), there are always challenges that make writing and concentrating difficult. So, while I'd love to be able to write more (and work on more than one story idea at a time), I'm not willing to give up my travels for it. Yet.

    Thank you for co-hosting this month! Hey, I got that in just in time before the next month...

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  71. Mint chocolate chunk! And I have way too many projects going on at once...

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  72. Hi,

    I am a poet. I am from India. I like your blog. I always take inspiration from others to learn.
    It is said, “Everyone has something to teach us”.
    I have a blog. Please visit mine and leave your comments.

    https://pushkarsbisht.blogspot.com/

    Regards,
    Pushkar

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