Juggling Stories

Share any written short stories, novels, or poetry

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Juggling Stories

Postby littlebee » March 22nd, 2012, 3:36:38 pm

Hi...

I just wanted to start a conversation about how you all write/deal with multiple ideas and stories rolling about in your head at the same time. Do you tend to just take one project and focus all your energy on it, putting other ideas on the back burner as they arise until you have time to deal with them? Or do you find yourself juggling multiple projects at the same time? Do you have a short attention span and write one thing until it bores you, then move onto another whether the initial project was completed or not? What is your track record for complete vs incomplete projects, and what makes a story worth finishing to you? Alternatively, when do you 'know' to leave a project, presumably for good?

Just curious about other peoples writing lives. May edit with my own answers later.
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby Lufpleh » March 26th, 2012, 11:08:02 pm

I have this problem!!! I get all these ideas for different stories. What I do is write out a plot and brief summary of how it's going to go. Every single detail that I think of, needs to be written down.

I'm one of those people who has a short attention span where I'll say "That's a great idea!" And I'll write a couple chapters and never look at it again. HAHA, I know, extremely unhealthy, but I get to skip around with writing my stories. I'll work on one and then if I'm not in the mood to write in a certain genre or style, I go on to a different story which demands a different writing style. But that's personally how I do it.
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby TxCat » March 27th, 2012, 12:35:26 am

I keep notebooks and writing untinsels everywhere --- purse, bedside, near the television, even in the shower ( crayon soaps and I copy the ideas off the shower wall into a notebook before the next shower so I don't lose them).

I write on whichever story captures my mind until it doesn't any longer and then I go do something else or write on another for a while. Each story has its own notebook in which I keep snippets of plot, articles, photographs,or quotes which inspire me. Some stories I have organized onto writing cards which outline plot directions; I can shuffle the order or even take cards from one story to another. Unless there is a deadline, I rarely just sit down and write on one story until ut's done.
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby TheStrangeWeirdo » March 27th, 2012, 1:52:51 am

I usually just outline the idea of the book until I have time to write it, or have finished/lost interest with the book I'm currently writing.
I do have a short attention span, sort of. But, if the book interests me enough - which it should, so it'll interest the readers - then I will keep with it until I do tire of it, or finish it.
I've finished about 20 or so books, but those are short stories, usually completed within a day, or even one session. Currently on the fence at the moment, trying to decide between scrapping the book I'm writing to go on with another, or to keep on pushing through it.
When do I know when to leave a project? Well, that's easy. When I lose interest in it. If I end up finding it boring, or I see it isn't going anywhere, I'll leave it because the readers are going to get bored with it.
Of course, if you don't show your material to people, you don't need to worry about that last sentence.
You don't know when to leave it for good, that is why you should keep a portfolio. Keep track of every story you've written, even unfinished ones, because you may become interested in the book again, or get inspiration for it, and so finish it at a later date.
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby Phenora » March 27th, 2012, 7:38:14 pm

I tend to take a piece of paper and sort of map out ideas. Intended title, if I have one already thought of, that I can of course go back and change if I decode to. Setting and plot, the basics but necessities. Intended characters, names or not, and a bit of info needed for them. What I intend to do with them or what-not. Optional things that might be useful or things I might add in if it makes sense or fits. I also usually have several projects at once, and tend to put focus on ones I've been working on longer or those I think I can actually get somewhere with. I've also found it very much helpful mapping them out at least a little bit. Gives direction and a place to start instead of a blank map and a broken compass, which is usually how it is for me.
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby Raneth » March 28th, 2012, 8:41:36 am

I also work on several things at once-that seems to be theme here. :lol: I tend to write where my interest lies at the time, so if story x is really interesting me, I will focus on that and (hopefully) finish it. I can and do get sidetracked by other shiny ideas, though, and will leave one story to work on another. At the moment I have about a dozen stories or ideas in various stages of completion, two of which are mere chapters away from being done. I hate when I do that, too-it's like moving on from a video game right before you beat the final boss.

I do try to focus myself, though. I give stories a rough priority-work that I'm doing for publication gets first priority. Fanfics (of which there are few these days) get last.

That said, my goal is to finish every story I start, no matter how long it takes, and try to transform as many fanfics as I can into publishable novels. Of course, with some stories I end up doing a page one rewrite when I go back to it, and there are a few stories I dread going back to because the audience I initially wrote them for was very niche.
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby Woxai » March 29th, 2012, 9:06:39 am

I'm a chaotic writer, that's a fact. :sweat:

I don't plan anything, more then some major events, who the characters are, their roles and such. I have a habit of switching the back story and red line while I plan a story, so I try not to think of it too much, else I'll change everything by the time I've written half of it. That happened to an intended fantasy story, much like the Temeraire series. It turned into a steam punk action instead.

Right now, I have... Let's see... 10 or so projects I'm working on. I write maybe 2-3 pages worth of story, then I switch to another and work on that until I get bored, again, usually after 2-3 pages of writing.

Some stories that I find interesting (which is 5% of everything I come up with) I tend to remodel in my head, developing the plot and the characters, but I almost never write it down. I lose interest when I've planned my way through half of the story. Dunno why really.

Peh, I'm a horrible author >.<
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby Nerruse » April 1st, 2012, 10:51:29 pm

While I've pretty much always got multiple stories brewing in my mind, I try to only write one at a time. This is so I don't end up with a ton of writing and nothing to show for all the work. Can't publish unfinished stories, after all.

Right now, I'm actively working on writing my MS story, The Chronicles of Ruin. [Which I am of course aware is unpublishable as is, but it wouldn't take much work to convert to an original work.]

However, in my mind (and on way too many index cards/bits of scrap paper), I'm doing story/worldbuilding for an original work loosely inspired by Assassin's Creed, a fantasy thriller inspired by an episode of Criminal Minds, a short story about a paladin and an alchemist that is quickly spiraling into a series, and an idea for a video game story/world/script based on the concept of really advanced organic tech in a fantasy-type world.
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby meixiaotian » April 3rd, 2012, 6:56:55 pm

I've come up with a lot of ideas. I've worked on it a while, then find a new idea. That is not a good idea, if you plan on sharing your story. It never works out really. Just improves my writing skills.

At the moment, I've just had three stories in the works, each with their own reason for being able to stay in my mind. I work on one for a long time, then go to the next one. Once I feel like it again, I go back to one of them and work a bit, then get bored and go to the other one.

I come up with a lot of ideas, and abandon them all the time, but sometimes go back to a good idea. Honestly, I'm a terrible writer. I can't even stay onto writing a tiny poem. In the whole details part of writing though, I think I'm a lot better. So I mostly have a short attention span.
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Re: Juggling Stories

Postby Bluewyrm » April 6th, 2012, 10:35:13 pm

I abandon more projects than I finish by far.
Ditch something when you haven't done any planning for three months and you're not interested. If you're still interested, try again!

Right now I have two mains to work on - a sci-fi one and a supernatural one so I switch off between scifi/graphic novel and horrorcops/short stories. The medium shift is almost as good as the genre shift...

I'm also writing up an RP setting, which is almost turning into a novel of its own...

I like to work in little parcels, projects where I can finish something and go "Oh. That feels really good," then continue on to the next segment rather than writing full novels. It's a liberating experience, actually.
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