03 August 2015

Jordan Takes Over: The Voices in Your Head

**The first Monday of every month, I let my muse take over the blog. I apologize in advance.**

First of all, let me just set a few things straight here. If Sarah is telling you I have a boyfriend, IT'S A LIE. Because A) that's not my thing (I mean commitment, not guys...keep up with me, people!), and B) technically I'm only 19 and I don't get together with this guy until we're 22. So there. Plus, hello spoilers! Oh, who am I kidding? By the time Book 3 gets published (assuming it does) you'll forget all about this. In that case, let me tell you...

OH I'M KIDDING. Relax. But anyway, this leads me to today's topic: having multiple characters telling you what to do. It can be extremely difficult when you're being pulled in too many directions by several different ideas or characters. Who do you listen to (uh, me, hello?)? Which idea is more important? Is it just the voice that seems the loudest?

I guess it depends on how many voices and where they're coming from. If you've got several different book ideas going on in your head at once and a strong urge to work on all of them, it can lead to trouble. You'll probably get things mixed up--characters showing up in the wrong book, things like magic or aliens popping into your contemporary romance. Just imagine the chaos if you took all of your book ideas and combined them into one. Scary, right?

So the easiest thing to do is work on one book at a time. I know, I know, easier said than done. I'm not saying you can't jump back and forth. But give one book a good amount of time and attention before you switch gears. Maybe wait for the inspiration to run out and then switch to get it going again.

But you've also got the issue of different characters within the same book or series pulling you in different directions. Maybe you've got minor characters wanting to be more important. Or maybe ideas from every book in your series are hitting you at once. If the characters are the same, it probably won't be as confusing to work on more than one. But if you're throwing your attention everywhere at once, is every piece you're writing going to come out perfect?

Ok, so maybe the easiest thing to say is that listening to the loudest voice is probably the right way to go. Whatever idea, character, scene, book, whatever, is occupying your thoughts the most is the one that you should be working on. Then if you finish that idea, that voice in your head may actually shut up and you can move on to the next one. If you're lucky.

So maybe I'm not always the loudest voice. It probably just means I'm sleeping.



  1. I did have a minor character who wanted to be more important; he ended up becoming the male lead in my story, and I realized that he was right about what his role should have been. It is hard to work on more than one book at the same time, especially because certain characters might pop up in the wrong book (though that's not always a bad thing).

  2. When it comes to different story ideas, I do work on the one that screams the loudest.

    I have had minor characters in an older series who wanted to be more important, so I let them. Who am I to restrain my characters? They all also demanded their own stories. I haven't gotten to them yet, but I will. And they know it. :)

  3. My characters must be polite. They can sit quietly while one talks to me. Of course, if that one character won't shut up, then nothing else gets worked on, so it's not always good.

  4. Jordan's right. Work on the character that's nagging away at you.

  5. I have polite characters as well.
    Jordan, Sarah didn't tell us you had a boyfriend, you just did.

  6. Phew, how do you authors live with it?

  7. Well... Books don't come out perfect even if we focus on only one at a time.

    I work on multiple books because that means I have something else to do every time I get stuck on my main project.

  8. I've been trying to do research for a short story and finish up edits for a novel. It's hard switching gears, but I don't want to put either project on the shelf right now.

  9. This is often my issue. Working on one story, and another is screaming, "Look at me, look at me!"