More Than One

Working on more than one project is tricky.  Sometimes, it goes fine. I tend to switch out music to get in the right moods for different characters.

But it’s not always easy. My problem is I have a tendency to crawl so far into my characters, I like to zone out with the same ones daily until their story is out.

No, I don’t have a mental illness. <g>

I’m a writer. But sometimes, I find it hard to let go of the real world around me for a time. This is mostly a MOM thing. I’m so connected to my kids, I need to know what’s going on with them at all times. Even the oldest who has graduated, has a job and drives herself where she needs to go.  She’s really cool about checking in to let me know she’s okay, so it’s easier with her now. But I still have one who relies heavily on me. He does stay pretty busy these days, though, so I do have stretches of free writing time where I can truly put on my earphones and disappear into my fictional worlds.

So why have I been struggling lately?  Several reasons. I’m out on sub with two separate series and while it isn’t a good idea to write the second books until the firsts sell, a part of my mind is still in those unfinished stories.  I’ve been keeping a section of my brain with them, just waiting and hanging on to them in case I have to quickly go back.

Yet, I started the beginnings to two more books.  One a YA dystopian series and right now, I’m trying to make the other a stand alone. I call it my secret project because well, the world is more fun if you have a secret project. 😉

But I also bonded with my other characters and so I find myself sketching scenes on them. I’ll spend a few days writing consecutively with them, then worry about needing to have something else ready in case no one falls in love with the ones out there.

This, my friends, is not a good habit. And it’s one I thought I’d kicked years ago.  Granted, my personal life went through an upheaval of magnificently awful proportions the last couple of years, so I have a pass. But it needs to be just a hall pass. A short time one.  Because truly, writing in one character’s voice for a period of time is the only way to really get to know them.  I guess I’m one of those writers who needs to pick one project and plow my way through it before moving to the next. This back and forth is just crazy business.  It’s like trying to put together four different puzzles in the same space.

Isn’t if funny how very real these characters and worlds become to us?  Gotta say, I love it. I wrote all day yesterday. Wrote some really good scenes that had me so excited, I chair danced a few times and even got up to boogie around the house once.  Okay, twice. I was in the best sort of mood last night because that rush is something else. It’s addictive.  The feeling of accomplishment rocks.  I love the big leaps toward that finished story, so I need to treat my zoning times as precious, pick one and just go for it.

Maybe once I’m in the proposal part of my career, I’ll feel better about having all the smaller bits. 🙂


About Rinda Elliott

Writer.I love unusual stories and credit growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept us amused, especially in some of the stranger places. For years, I tried to separate my darker side with my humorous and romantic one. I published short fiction, but things really started happening when I gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, I love making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with my husband and two children. I’m represented by Miriam Kriss of the Irene Goodman Agency.
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6 Responses to More Than One

  1. Heather Dearly says:

    I am mentally ill, so I’ll give you a pass. 😉

  2. Celise says:

    I’ve planned for 6 books in the Draven series. I’m worried that, when I’m done, I won’t be able to put her away. I’m afraid that when I try to write about someone other than Draven, her voice and personality will still come through. I think it’s going to be very difficult for me. I’ve never written series before and I have a feeling I won’t be able to write anything BUT those by the time I’m done.

  3. relliott4 says:

    I worried about that briefly with the first series, but don’t worry, you’ll be able to slip into new characters. A lot of times, for me, the best way is through music. Certain music triggers character traits for me. 🙂

  4. Agatha Ann and the Spider Wizard is with the editor at Simon and Schuster, but who knows if anything will happen. In the mean time, I can’t decide whether to continue with “Dead Fairies” which I’m not sure is good enough or finish “Shadow Curse” the second Agatha Ann. Hate making decisions some times. But I know what you mean about wanting to do more than one thing at a time. Miss you girl, seems forever since I’ve seen you.

  5. Mikaela says:

    I think it was C.E Murphy that basically said: Write as much as you can before you sell, so that when you sell your first novel you have more stories ready. Well, I am paraphrasing but it was basically that.
    C.E Murphy published her first novel five years ago, and since then she have published 10 novels, and I think four of them was written before she sold. I can be wrong though.

  6. relliott4 says:

    It’s good advice. I got the same from writers, Georgina Gentry and Janis Reams Hudson. Hudson wrote–I think seven–books before selling then went back and sold all of those. 🙂

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