Tuesday, August 24

Focus, D'Ann, Focus

At any given time, I have at least two, and usually three or more manuscripts that I'm working on.

I jump back and forth, depending on my mood. Maybe it's a contest that I'm in that has me hopeful for a request, and I'm pushing page counts. Sometimes it's just a character that has hold of me that I need to delve into until I'm satisfied.

Sometimes I'll work non-stop on one manuscript for weeks, or sometimes just days. Occasionally years. I have two manuscripts that I have toyed with forever. One, Mississippi Blues, has been queried to death. It is done, has been forever. But I still tweak on it from time to time. The other (no groans) is A Real Bad Burn. I keep coming back to it like a horse to a salt lick. Even while I'm pushing hard on Cat toward the GH, Burn is there, stuck in my head.

Yes, I remember I had a public burial of it here awhile back. But the thing just nags at me like a mother. "Come back, finish me," it begs. Recently, I had an idea for a new opening (thanks, Cassie and Avril) and I dragged it out again.

So, once again, I am working on the cursed thing.

Right now, it's the carrot. If I work on Cat, then I get a little time on Burn.

Cat is the more viable manuscript, then one that is more likely to sell. It is traditional. Normal.

And I really want to enter it in the Golden Heart.

So, it has to be the one that I pick. Right?

Right. Notice how firmly I say that?

After all, I could work on Rescued, Larkspur, Sunny, the new story with the Canon City horse-breaker hero....Burn.

I meant Cat...yeah, Cat.










42 comments:

  1. I always start of with one Ms, the other ideas creep in as if given the greenlight. I end up with a million stories in my head. Currently, there's five. I know, it's a slow period. My goal, when I start on the new Wip in September, is to do two simultaneously. We'll see how that goes. My fear is one will get more attention than the other. As it stands, the current Wip's first two chapters were written almost a year ago. Since then I've written two Ms. Dunno how I'll manage writing two at the same time, but I aim to try.

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  2. I've been taken hostage by one Ms. lately. But I'm spinning other ideas in my head that I jot down and keep for later. Or if those new ideas are too consuming, I'll write a few thousand words, and then put it aside. Right now, I'm committed to polishing and finishing off the current Ms, especially since I've got a request for a full, and I want to keep that deadline.

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  3. You can do it, Avril! Rah! Rah!

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  4. Hi, Denny!
    Thanks for coming by! A request for a full? Nice.
    I love "taken hostage by"!

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  5. I only work on one at a time, at least over the past year. I'm too fully dumped in the midst of the characters. I may have killed Blood Rage, the first one, but I know it needs some tweaking to fit with how Blood Dreams works out, but I can't make myself look back at it yet, not while I'm hammering out the revisions to Dreams.

    I don't know how to write two separate ones at the same time. It might be nice, and I did come up with some preliminary ideas/scenes for the next one, but Dreams hasn't pulled its fangs out of me yet.

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  6. Hi, Tory!
    Pulled it's fangs! I love these analogies.
    I think you should do what works for you. And if that's one, then that's perfect.
    Thanks so much for coming by!

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  7. I usually make myself stick to one manuscript at a time. That or I'll take a break from a 120k write around 80k and write a short story to refreshen my creativity. If I did hop around, I'd never get a fucking thing done. *rolls eyes*

    -Jc

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  8. Oh my I thought I was the bad writer but I do that too. For right now I'm focusing on one story but in the past I have hopped or skipped and jumped from story to story. I'm determined to finish one story start to where I type "THE END". I haven't done that yet, I just sort of made an ending to the one I submitted to Harlequin last year. I got rejected for episodic plot and weak romance. Oh well I gave it a shot. Now I need to see if I can get back to this story.

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  9. Heya. I usually have two to three started that I work on. When I the short quickie's maybe four. Then while I'm working on one, edits for another come in. Sometimes I forget I've submitted something. Too funny but I love working on multiple projects.

    Yay you on working on your story again!

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  10. I can only work on one at a time. I have three
    started and am trying to pick the one I want to finish.
    Once I choose, that's it. I won't work on the
    next one til I've typed THE END on the previous
    one.

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  11. I work on one until my brain burns out, and then I pop onto another one....I've got 3 usually up in the air at all times...but yeah, just need to FINISH.

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  12. I am trying to work on one manuscript, but the other ones keep intruding with their seductive characters. And ones I haven't really even started beg to be born. I think that's procrastination slipping in there when the going gets hard...work on the other manuscript. Or critique someone. Or cut my toenails. If I get really desparate to avoid writing something I'm supposed to be in love with (and I am, so I just don't get why I'm having these difficulties) I'll actually do...gasp...housework.
    Veronica

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  13. I'm actually working on three right now. Unfortunately I'm not getting done with any of them.

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  14. I have one unfinished MS and one complete that I need to spit shine. I found it refreshing to work on something else for a while. I envy those writers with multiple open MSs and how they complete them all!

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  15. I usually have more than one going. I start a story to get the idea down then save it so I can go back and finish what I was working on when the story idea came to me. That Real Bad Burn story sounds like a messy, bloody, burned-by-a-fire story. If not, maybe you only need to change the name.

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  16. I'm a more-than-one-book girl. Although, I'm usually in different parts of the book -- one finished and in revisions, another just starting. I work best when I rotate editing with fresh writing...I blame the journalism profession. :P

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  17. I toss around a few at a time until I get one that sticks and won't let me go. So, I always have a few wip's but hopefully just one I'm focusing on. Right now, stuck on Bix. And even when I reach the end, I have another story or two in my head for him. So, we'll see. I may never get those poor characters out of the ice age....

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  18. Hi, JC.
    Nice to meet you! Who says I get anything done? LOL.

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  19. Hi, Kathy!
    Nope, you're far from the only writer who does this crazy hop. Thanks for coming by!

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  20. Hi, Hales.
    That damn story has me by the throat. Thank you for coming by!

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  21. Hi, Shawn!
    You're smart to work that way. I should too. So, is it Kalyste?

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  22. Carrie,
    Yes, you do. YOu have too good of mss to not finish. C'mon, girl, you can do it!

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  23. Beg to be born. Yes, that's it exactly, Veronica. I have so many ideas germinating I don't know if I can keep track of all of them.

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  24. Hi, Jerri.
    If memory serves me correctly, you always have had two-three going at once. We have a lot in common, Jerri, a lot. Maybe that's why we've been friends for so long.

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  25. Mika!
    Hi! Nice to see you here. I get bored with one at a time, honestly.

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  26. Pamela.
    I'm LOL. You hit the nail on the had. Burn is exactly that! LOL again.

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  27. Kristi,
    I blame you, my oldest CP (next to Kim) for getting me started doing this terrible thing. Kidding, doll. But I do think you and I have always agreed on this way of doing things, and I have no journalism background at all.

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  28. Bix is too good to let go, Margie. That's why it stuck, and will keep sticking. Ice age, smice age. Who needs that when you have a short kid's adventures to write about???

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  29. Yep. Kalyste gets done first. Delilah comes
    next, unless I get a better idea.

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  30. I think I've developed tunnel vision as far as writing goes. I can only compose on one at once. I can, however, polish another one for submission while I'm doing that. Sort of. But I'm bothered by so many unfinished projects, so I won't let myself leave what I'm working on till it's done.

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  31. Right now I'm focused on rewriting one manuscript, Butterfly, but the second book of the series is about half drafted...I say drafted, because I already know I'm changing some of it when I get back to it. But like you, D'Ann, I want to enter Butterfly into the GH; so, I've been pushing to get it polished. Hope like hell we don't enter the same category...that would suck...*g*

    But I'm also working out ideas for the other three books in this series of eventual 5 stand-alones. I've been trying to make sure that when I introduce characters in Butterfly and Lonely Hearts they'll fit the stories they end up being the Hero/Heroine in later. So, although, I haven't drafted anything on those stories; I keep a Doc with all the family trees and names on it. The titles of all the books and notes as I come up with ideas....So, I guess you could say, I work on more than one project at a time...even though I usually deny it...LOL

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  32. I stick to one story at a time, especially when I'm working on a novel and want to put all my attention into it. However, I also write a humor column, and I've got to hit those 1,000 weekly words -- so at least once a week I shift back and forth.

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  33. I usually work on just one, as in, writing just one. I have other projects in various stages of development/outline/plotting.

    Recently I took part in a challenge on GoodReads and I'm ending up actively writing 2 stories at the same time. World of difference in the two - cultural women's fiction v/s mainstream romantic suspense. It's kinda driving me nuts but I welcoem the challenge.

    On the whole, I always have 2-3 stories being 'set up' in my head.

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  34. Besides being a panster, I'm also a hopper. I also hop from one manuscript to another too.

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  35. I usually work on one at a time. I'll be writing one and editing another, maybe. But, lately, my muse is working overtime. I'm working on a series, so I'm ediitng the first, put the fifth on the back burner at about 75% complete, have the first couple of pages written of the sixth, and a couple of pages of plot and notes written for the seventh. I think I'm developing ADHD...what do ya'll think?

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  36. Hi, Liz~
    I think you're probably smart to stay with one story at a time! I should probably follow your lead.

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  37. Hi, Sara.
    It would suck if we're in the same GH cat. Bleh. But you have great stories! Love 'em.
    Thanks for coming by!

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  38. Hi, Ozma~
    Thanks for coming by! I think a humor column would be fun! It is bounc to keep your writing fresh, too.

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  39. Zee, with the cool name! Hi. I think if you're writing suspense and women's fic at the same time, that it would be a good way to stay fresh.

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  40. Cajunflair, I think you put me to shame! And I think you're getting a lot of books done! Nice!

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  41. I currently have two going, but it is hard to switch back and forth. I totally understand trying to decide which one should have priority. I should just pick one and go for it.

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