Saturday, May 31, 2014

Juggling Projects

Scott D. Parker

I’m finishing  a longish novella (28,000 words or so--what is that exactly?) that has taken me way, way too long to complete. I’m looking ahead to a fun little summer experiment with my writing. I plan on trying my hand at writing multiple projects at the same time. It’s a goal to increase my productivity in order to get some momentum in my writing career.

This week I’ve been plotting. I am putting the guidelines I learned from Aaron Allston’s PLOTTING book to good use. I have about five ideas that I plan on developing into ...stories of varying length. My goal for this week is to map out and outline at least two and get started on them. It’s highly ambitious, I know, but I’d like to start getting some work out in front of the eyes of strangers, one way or another. And the only way to do that is to produce content. Thus, the summer drive.

I am basically going to practice working on multiple projects so that, if I’m fortunate enough and I have two books that are due at nearly the same time in some not-too-distant future, I’ll have worked out the kinks of juggling projects now when no one but me is watching versus when an editor is waiting. Looking at this experiment from this vantage point--before I start--I imagine I’ll write on one project in the morning and another in the evening. That’ll probably get morphed into something else quickly, but that’s at least how I’ll start.

For those of y’all who work on multiple project, how do y’all do it?


Rick Ollerman said...

I focus on one, the one with a deadline (real or imagined), and then fill in on the others at odd times, as opportunity affords. The key is not to let any of them lay fallow for so long that you can't pick them up again and easily slip into the voice of that particular piece.

And then, you get to the critical mass point where one of the side things is such that it has to take over and by primary for a while or else you risk losing the work.

There's two cents for you....

Al Tucher said...

I don't think I could write any other way. When I fire up the laptop, I listen to what is going on in my mind and usually know which project to work on.

Of course, sometimes a deadline kicks my butt and says, "Quit fooling around."