So, I am about three weeks away from being “finished” with my second Victorian novel and I am sorely tempted to begin my next book and it got me thinking. Why shouldn’t I write more than one book at a time? I’ve never tried writing more than one book at once and I’m not really sure if that is a big no-no or not, so I thought I’d make a list of why to write two books at once and why not to write more than one book at a time in corresponding numbered responses to help sort out the cobwebs of my thoughts on the subject.
Pros for Multiple Books:
1. Inspiration. When inspiration flows for a story, you don’t want to lose it by simply jotting down the outline and hoping that you can remember all of those little gems that come in that first flood of inspiration.
2. Spreading your creativity. You’ll never be without a story to think about. If you get stuck for the day on Story A, move on to Story B and hopefully, while thinking about that Story B, you might come across for a solution for getting unstuck with Story A.
3. The ultimate focus. Does too much drive on a single project make for sloppy work because the writer is so focused on the end goal that it causes them to slap on an ending just to be done with it and thus, they don’t give their current work their best effort? Maybe this will help spread not only creativity, but focus as well.
Pros for One Book at a Time in corresponding numbered responses to pros for multiple books:
1. & 2. Forcing yourself to be creative. Sometimes, when I write, I get stuck in the mud, so I have to really dig to get myself out and in the digging myself out, I come up with ideas that not only get me out of the mud, but enhance my story in ways that I never even imagined. The mud isn’t always so bad. It makes us work harder for the story that we know is there.
3. Losing drive. When I was in a class with author T. Davis Bunn, he said that he never allows himself to move onto the next project until the current one is finished and on its way to either his agent or publishing house.
Inspiration can be captured. As for the inspiration that comes with each new novel being created, I think the best way to capture that is to outline the story as it comes to you in a very detailed proposal. Therefore, the details are safe and when you are ready to devote yourself to the creating of the story, you can poke the muse and say it’s time to start the inspiration again.
Drive is needed for focus. It’s kind of hard for me to argue with T. Davis Bunn’s method as he is a highly successful author, so he knows what he’s talking about! For my writing personality, I need a goal, a finish line with a prize at the end. I like having that other story there reminding me that when I finish, it’s there waiting for me to write. Though I am still tempted to write two books at once, I think for me, I need the drive of the next book to help me finish my current book.
Have you ever tried writing more than one book at once? If so, how did it work out for you? Did you find it helpful?
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