Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My Muse Has Attention Deficit Disorder

I don't know about you, but I can't seem to work on only one book at a time. But I just took inventory of my flash drive and realize I have five--FIVE--books in process. In all fairness, the first draft of one is complete, but needs to be trimmed by about 3,000 words. The others are anywhere from two to seven chapters in length, so far.

Coming up with ideas is not my problem. Keeping those ideas straight and on track is becoming an issue. It's like trying to walk five leashed, and poorly trained, puppies at one time.

When faced with multiple story ideas, how do you decide which one to run with first? And, once you do, how do you set those other tempting little nuggets aside for the future?

It's been my practice to work on two books at the same time. I find that it keeps my imagination flowing and staves off writer's block. But five works in progress seem to be a bit much. It can lead to a different type of writer's block, when you become so immersed in several stories that you can't focus on any one of them.

So, what do you do when your muse develops ADD and drags you in five directions at once?

Linda (who is covering her ears and singing, "la, la, la, la" while she works on ONE book.) :)


Carol said...

Hi Linda; I used to write on several at a time until I found I couldn't keep track of the right characters names and often wrote down the wrong heroine's name. Also found the writing getting more complicated and me more harried than necessary and the loss of time to thoroughly search out the plot of one at a time was getting on my nerves.
By sticking to one story and tucking the other wannabees into a file labeled "other story possibilities" I find life generally more peaceful and a routine that includes time for other things in life as well, much easier.

A Spirited Liaison now available in ebook format : and www.Fictionwise

Erin O'Malley marches to the beat of her own drummer. With an 18th century privateer running interference, CEO Lance Dalton suffers the consequences.

Other releases:
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Strong, smart, sensuous heroines, heroes to die for.
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Infogypsy said...

Wow, Linda - I envy you! I only do one book at a time, right through the final edit. I find as I write more books, each one takes longer - the first one three months to write, the second one six months, the third three years including 12 edits, and the 4th I've been writing for two years plus and just now slowly editing the 2nd time (with possibly 5 more edits to go) Ugh! I wish I could go back to writing fast and having the ideas flow! Right now I have no story for the 5th in mind - I've been mulling it over for almost a year now but still waiting for the scenes to show up in my head. You are the Nora Roberts of women's lit - and I know in reading your crit subs that you are getting better and better. Your method is way more useful, as far as I am concerned, in getting better and better - since all the great writers say learning to write takes writing and more writing. Can you pass me some ideas or some desire to write?
Thinking more on this, I believe we go back to the basic rule though that every person has to find the way that works for them. Writing five books at once really sounds like it works great for you! Look at all those books you've got out there!
I think I need to give myself some space and encouragement also in the way I am writing. We each may have different purposes in writing and I am giving myself some space to write slowly as I am right now. Keep up your pace though! You've got something great going! - Judi

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda! Congrats on having "The Year I Lost My Mind" selected as the WingsReaders discussion book for June!
I'm sending all my cubicle-dwelling, adventure starved pals to your website! We've needed this story! Thanks so much, & looking forward to the chat, Nancy