Saturday, September 16, 2006

Just Can't Make Up My Mind

This past week was supposed to be a busy week for me. My dear friend Carla and I were going to do a BIAW (book in a week) -- you know, write as much as you can, don't worry about editing -- just throw it on the page and see what sticks. I've done it before and found it to be a great way to kick myself into action.

But it didn't quite work out that way this time.

I had two books I had about 40 pages each on. It wasn't until Sunday night before I started on Monday that I finally decided which one to work on -- I needed to work on the one that I just couldn't stop thinking about. The first day, it worked pretty well, the second day less so and then the third day was a bust.

So, I decided to go to the other one and see what I could do with it. So far, I've written maybe ten pages on it -- not near the amount that I wanted.

Now, I'm near the end of my week and next week, I need to buckle down, set a deadline and write like the wind. But how do I decide which one to work on? Do I work on the one that I'm writing by the seat of my pants or the one I have a complete outline on?

You already know what I'm going to ask, don't you? Can I do both? They're both contemporaries but have absolutely nothing in common with each other plot-wise, so I don't think I'll be getting my characters confused. But I don't know. I've never done that before. I'm usually a one book writer until the first draft is completely finished, then I'll go work on something else.

What's your best advice? Have you ever worked on more than one book at a time? If so, was it difficult? Were you successful? Did you finish both books at the same time or did you end up concentrating on one more than the other? Would you ever do it again?


Carla Swafford said...

I'm the last one to give advice, considering the problems I have in making up my mind. I just wanted to say, I'll keep an idea out for an answer -- it would be helpful to me, too.

But -- you really think I would keep quiet? -- I've always heard to do what you feel comfortable with. At least an editor hasn't given us a deadline, heh?

Deborah Matthews said...

It's like the scale. Some people can weigh every day and not go nuts. Some people can write on two books at once. My suggestion would be try it and see how it works.