Wednesday, November 4, 2015

IWSG~Hair Pulling & Multiple Stories

Have you ever been struck by a story idea that fizzles out once you start writing? 

I'm not talking about one of the bazillion story starters that wave through your brain while sitting patiently at a stop light. But the idea that already has legs, a full outline, and characters developed. Maybe it's even a sequel to a first book or one in the series. Maybe it's a companion novel. The world is brilliant - living and breathing, just begging you to plop your main character into it and get all the trouble started. 

image credit
But as the fizzling occurs another story idea hits you. And this one's legs are easy to develop. It's exciting and fresh, and you just can't wait to start writing it. BUT THEN....

...THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS.

That original stories flicks you in the head, demanding attention. A river of creative scenes and new twists on your sub plots flow over you like cleansing air you've longed for. You write the first chapter. You're thrilled. BUT THEN...

...THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS...AGAIN!

Something you just wrote in that first chapter ignites an older story you'd developed two years ago. And you know you must write it down. This is my current reality. It's never happened to me before, not quite like this, not so I feel like I must work on all three stories simultaneously. What I've done over the past week or so is let the loudest barking story have my attention. So far it's working. 

Has this ever happened to you, and did you fear you'd end up writing a bunch of useless hodgepodge?

The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage, posting on the first Wednesday of each month. You'll find writer doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Support and a common understanding spread throughout the group as many fellow writers can relate. JOIN in anytime.

 photo Sheri2.png

37 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I know, right. I'm really hoping it sticks, because I love all three of these stories!

      Delete
  2. It sounds hard to juggle all those projects, but if it's working for you, go for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right. Over the years, I've heard other writers do this, but I've never attempted it myself. Usually I can quiet the other voices. This time they all are screaming at the same volume. :)

      Delete
  3. That's why I'm writing a book with 4 (possibly 5) novelette length stories. Too many ideas at once.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now that's a great idea! I'll have to mull that over at least for the two YAs I'm working on. Would work with the MG. :)

      Delete
  4. I just smile because that's how I used to write, before getting published. It's rather fun and freeing if you ask me, but I haven't been in that state of mind for years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm... so either I started behind you or I'm regressing. lol

      Delete
  5. Absolutely that's happened to me!! I have 3 stories started and 1 at 30k, but it fizzled. I tried jumping from story to story and did get hodgepodge. I've learned I need to squash those characters wanting to speak, and concentrate on 1 story at a time.

    I'm so glad it's working for you. Keep it up!!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I am currently bouncing back and forth between two stories -- and this isn't the first time. Usually, one of the stories will "win out" over the other. One will get finished. The other will not. At least, that's what has happened so far. I'm perfectly willing to end up with TWO completed stories this time, though. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed! It'd be nice to finish two projects simultaneously, right?

      Delete
  7. This is kind of happening to me right now (typically, at the beginning of NaNoWriMo :P). I'm not losing interest in my draft, but I've somehow started two other projects at the same time! The muse wants to be in three places at once...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow! Keep that &*%^$ going!
    :)
    Keep moving forward!
    Heather

    ReplyDelete
  9. It can be tricky to manage, but if you're feeling inspired by something, I say go with it! I think it's usually best to write whatever is inspiring you the most.

    ReplyDelete
  10. This has indeed happened to me. Fear of writing drivel has never been an issue for me, since there is the whole editing process that has to be done. Getting that first draft down is the most important thing. It can always be straightened out later. Good luck managing your crowded head.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ideas only hit me one at a time. I wouldn't know what to do in that situation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. This is totally new to me, so I guess I'll just pants it. Although, I do have all three outlines pretty much completed. Honestly, this is a strange feeling.

      Delete
  12. When things are going your way its time to pile on the projects. And go to Las Vegas.

    Stephen Tremp
    November IWSG Co-host

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's been awhile since I've been able to successfully work on multiple books at once. I find that nowadays, I need to give all my best attentions to just one book at a time. If I must split up my time now, I have to decide which one is most important, and apportion my time accordingly.

    ReplyDelete
  14. The most I've had going is two books at once. I usually go with whichever one is most strongly in my head at the moment. However, I've had to put the second one on hiatus temporarily because the first one is almost ready to publish and needs my full attention. It's hard to ignore the second one, but sometimes it's necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, it's definitely happened to me. I think it can be handled, but I suggest working on each one for two to three days at a time before switching over to another one. Plus, keep lots of notes. That's my thought until one of them just grabs you and won't let go.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm writing multiple projects again. It can be very energizing. I'll allot x amount of time to one and x to another. The main project gets my best time and is the one I MUST do every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To my surprise I'm actually finding this experience quite energizing. That's a perfect way to describe it. When I feel stagnant with one project another is already poking at me to get some attention. And I hear you about the main project. I am finding one that keeps pulling ahead of the others. :)

      Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

      Delete
  17. This has happened, but knowing I work best when I'm focused on one story at a time, I had to make the decision to do a bunch of quick outlines, then settle on the ONE that was calling loudest. TBH, it doesn't happen enough ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. #chuckles I know, right. Honestly, it's never happened to me before or at least not strongly enough for me to recognize. I thought I'd been stressing and pulling out my hair, but I'm not. Kind of weird....

      Delete
  18. I think going with the idea that barks the loudest makes sense. Good luck! :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Sheri. Yes, I know what you're talking about. But I usually find the stories that fizzle are the ones I didn't outline, just went after that idea. These days, I find a loose outline works for me, usually.

    Denise Covey November co-host IWSG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes sense. Putting those ideas in an outline, even though it's minimal, forges them into a foundation that you can build on later. Love that!

      Delete
  20. I hear ya! I have so many projects, they're snaking out of my head like medusa! and fighting for attention. And new ideas come along all the time. I have a file where I put ideas and sometimes a contest will come along and a story can be fleshed out - at least in a short story. It may seem like a hodge podge, but I think a flood is better than a drought!

    and thanks for supporting me in my simulation release tour!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm afraid I don't have the ability to concentrate on more than one at a time, and I can't start even outlining a new project until the old one is completely done. I can *think* about the new one and let ideas develop, but any actual work on it is impossible for me. I guess I'm just a dull literary monogamist. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I had that happen to me during NaNo one year. I had a story outlined and all ready to write, and then a month or so before November, another story idea hit me. I tried writing both in NaNo that year. I finished one and got to about 30k in the other before the idea fizzled. I still hope to get back to it eventually. The past few months I have been working on 2-3 projects at a time. I give most of my time to a main project and some to a secondary project (or third project as I did one month). So far it's working well, although it's much easier when the stories are in the same POV than switching between them. LOL!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See, though, I don't think your time was wasted. You completed one manuscript and have 30k to fall back on when something else fizzles out. The last half of your comment sounds like how I'm currently approaching these three projects.Thanks for sharing your success with it!

      Delete
  23. I wish one idea would stick for me right now! But I say, enjoy the flow of ideas and hopefully they keep coming!! Good luck with all your projects! :)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Hi Sheri - I do that with blog posts and in my head I'm constantly 'drafting' - I must get myself organised properly in the next few weeks ... so I can just get on with things. Having a formula/ plan of action must help I feel - I've loads I want to do .. and keep 'stressing' about it all - then just get on with where I'm at ... and muddle along: no more, no more I hear myself say as I type. Good luck with all ... the series idea sounds a great wheeze towards fruition .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, that's it right there - I, too, have loads I want to do and then I find myself stressing about it. The strange thing is that this time all three stories are pulling at me equally and it doesn't seem to bother me. I've been shifting between them as they pull. I have to say I never thought I'd do this, but I figure while it's working I might as well go for it. :)

      Tapping the keys....

      Delete
  25. Pop, fizzle, pop. Yes! I run with the idea that stays hot the longest.

    ReplyDelete

!SPLAT Your Awesomeness! I love to hear from you!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

MY STATS