Thursday, October 27, 2011

How Many Is Too Many...Stories?

How many is too many? And no, I'm not talking about sexual partners. Disappointing, I know, but I find this an interesting topic. It applies to pretty much everything. Too many days volunteering with PTA. Too many projects taken on for family and friends. Too many directives at work that somehow landed on your desk. Do you do them all at once or focus based on priority due date, one at a time? The writing world is just as hectic, at least for me.

How many stories at once is too much? For some authors, writing two or even three stories at a time is par for the course. Some work on one during the day, another at night. Or they swap them every other day. I've gone to author websites and seen progress bars on the many works an author is working on, to show percentages complete.

Me? I have a hard enough time working on one story. I need to immerse myself in the characters and plot, and if the story is lighthearted, I tend to want everything I'm writing to be that easygoing. But lately, I've been experimenting. I have my schedule roughly fitted for 2012 already, so I know what I'm going to be working on and when. But there's another story I wanted to try, one that's different from anything I've done. I have three chapters of it written, in first person point of view, and for a young adult audience. Yeah, WAY different. And I like it. It's freeing me expand my writing, to search for better descriptions while at the same time keeping in mind the right tone and violence for a younger audience. Will I ever publish it? I don't know, but I do know it's something I would have loved to read as a girl. I've sporadically worked on it at night, because during the day I have other work to do.

Yet what do I do when I get stuck on my "day job"? Sometimes I muddle through a problematic part of the story, other times I might go to something completely different. And that's actually a great reason to have something waiting in the wings. So that when I'm at a standstill, I'm not wasting my brain. I can create in a different way for a different set of characters and unravel the knot keeping me from my problem story.

So for me, I'd have to say two is the magic number. Two stories to have available for work at any given time. And that's my Thursday tidbit. :)

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