Sunday, June 12, 2011

So Many Projects, So Little Time

I used to complain about not having enough good novel ideas. Now, as I wrap up my second novel (check out the excerpt to Multiples of Six if you haven't already), I can only complain about the opposite. With two novels now recently "finished", I have some choices to make about where to put my energy next. Obviously, the two novels I've finished will still require work, but I am at a point now where I've set them on autopilot for a little bit (one is an exclusive with an agent, the other with beta readers). So, I find myself now with a choice to make. Both completed novels require sequels (one has been plotted out entirely with a couple chapters started, the other I've got the first six chapters plotted and one solid chapter written), but I also have not one, but three other novel ideas in various stages of completion (a YA sci-fi piece at 50,000 words, a paranormal thriller piece at ~10,000 words with another 12 chapters plotted, and a steampunk idea in its infancy). Decisions, decisions!

Instinct might be to write the sequels. The stories are already on their way, right? The characters are already fully fleshed and ready to move on. I know where they are headed. I've spent a lot of time with them lately. And, now, I think I need a break from these characters. Novels can be like really good friends; you can spend an inordinate amount of time with them and not get sick of them. But, if you've ever been on vacation with your friends, you know that after you've spent that much time in close proximity with them, you can handle a little time away. It's not that you don't love them anymore, it's just that you've gotten too close to appreciate them for what they are. You stop seeing the good and start focusing on the bad. You need a break to regain that distance of appreciation.

Which is exactly why I'm hesitating to move forward with those stories. It'll have to happen eventually. I mean, if you promise a trilogy and stop at volume 1, you'll only alienate your readers, right? So, I guess because I know that I have to write the sequels, I've got a greater interest in tackling something else for now.

So, I'm really leaning toward working on the paranormal thriller. Tentatively titled, The Clock Smyth, the story follows Justin Smyth, a young man who is given a "gift" no one would wish for; he can see how long someone has left to live. Propelled into an interdimensional battle of "bad" versus "good", Justin must come to terms with his new-found ability and the limitations of knowing. Sometimes, we just aren't meant to live longer; other times, the Clock Smyth can set the hands back.

Sound cheesy? Well, at least it isn't vampires, werewolves, banshees, faeries, witches, etc.

Got multiple projects? How do you choose what to do? Do you dedicate your energies to one, or do you spread yourself out over all of them, hoping you don't go crazy (or that your plots start to mysteriously intermingle)!?


  1. I used to attempt to work on multiple projects at one time. My tendency was to avoid the project that had daunting tasks left to do and work on the ones I was still enjoying working on. It is very possible I'll eventually have to learn to work on more than one project at a time. Right now, though, the only way I can keep myself moving forward is to focus on one thing at a time.

  2. I hear you. I've avoided working on the Steampunk project simply because I know how much nonwriting time the research will take.

  3. Wow! That's a great problem to have. I recently blogged about this, and my best advice is to go with the one that gets you most excited to sit down and write. Which one do you think about the most? Which characters won't stop talking in your head? Sometimes one will jump out and start writing itself. Good luck!

  4. Thanks for commenting Michele!

  5. I can't write multiple projects at once, because my MCs start to sound like the characters from the other WIP. I mean, I really have to focus on the voice of my MC (since I usually write in first person).
    Anyway, I wish you luck with the decision! :D