One WIP? Or many?

One of the interesting things about authors is how we’re all different. Some of us are plotters, some pantsers, and a large percentage are in between. Some write every day. Some don’t. Some have rituals or a special place to write, while others can write anywhere, anywhen.

And some of us can only work on one project at a time.

I’ve never been one of those writers. I’ve always been able to have three or four WIPs going, save when I was under a real deadline crush. In fact, for me that makes it easier.  If I’m having trouble working on WIP1, then I open WIP2 and tinker with that for a while. A lot of the time, that shakes loose whatever was bothering me about WIP1.

Recently I’ve had 3 WIPs going: After the War, The Horn, and The Sins of the Fathers. 

(I actually have opened a few other files in this time, mostly on weekends, just for fun. Sometimes we need to do ‘fun’ writing just to remind ourselves why we do this.)

But my point is that this strange way of working is what works for me.

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After the War is due to be out later this summer, which means I need to get that last section finished, and then get it out to my editor. I’ve even got a cover commissioned for it, due to me about June 15th.  Now, this is a Portugal story involving Serafina Palmeira and Alejandro Ferreira.point_of_no_return3_by_faestock

(This is the -likely- picture we’ll be using–via Faestock on DeviantArt–for the cover…the rights belong to that artist.)

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But it’s recently been The Horn and The Sins of the Fathers that have taken up most of my time.

The Sins of the Fathers (name may change) is the sequel to Dreaming Death, starting only a month later than the end of that novel. Now, this was primarily concerned with the problems caused by Shironne’s father, Mikael’s father, and to a lesser extent, Deborah’s. Hence the name.

However, the edits on the first book killed off Shironne’s father before the first book happened. He was supposed to die slowly and painfully in the first half of Book 2. Removing him also removed a lot of the issues with Mikael’s father, so…I’m having to rewrite Book 2.  This happens sometimes.

On balance, I’m okay with the changes, but it means that as I was rewriting the sequel, the murder in it seemed to work less and less, making the plot weaker and weaker. Unfortunately, how to fix that problem has eluded me for for quite a while. I’ve been spinning my wheels writing it because it just seemed…wrong.

But working on The Horn provided an answer in a very different way.

I’ve been working on that, a series of novellas set elsewhere in Larossa shortly before the events of Dreaming Death (early summer-fall).  The events of the two story lines eventually tie together.So it was of direct benefit to me to have parts of The Horn solid in my head and written down.

But while I was hunting and pecking through my old files for a spare bit of text (I really need to get in there and rename all those old files because their current names are gibberish) I ran across an old Mikael/Shironne story about a murder that…

Well, I’d never finished that 2005 story. I probably got busy with something else and never got back to it. But suddenly I had in my hands the answer to my problem with TSotF.  I could swap out the short story’s murder for the problematic one in the book. A bunch of names had changed, but  the short story was set right after the book, so there wasn’t much time or age difference.

And suddenly I knew how to fix the broken part of TSotF. I am in the process of stripping out the old murder and working in the new. I’m re-outlining the book, as much as I do outlining. And everything is moving again.

Such a relief.

The point to all of that being: For me, working on more than one project at a time is helpful.  Not true for everyone, but for me, it pays.

 

Does that work for you? Or are you a ‘one project at a time’ writer?

 

#SFWAPro

Reminders…

I will be presenting a session on Historical Research this weekend at the DFW Writer’s Conference (as well as participating on a couple of other panels.)

I have a Goodreads Giveaway ending tomorrow for 2 paperback copies of The Seer’s Choice, and I’ll have a giveaway starting tomorrow for 2 paperback copies of Iron Shoes.

And I also have a Giveaway running over on Amazon for Kindle copies of Iron Shoes. So if you’re a Kindle person, you can try there.

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For Patreon supporters, I’m almost to the end of the rough draft of After the War, so you’ll probably see the penultimate chapter on the 1st, and then the final on 6/1.  (And my cover artist is working toward a cover on 6/15.)

Finally, I’m still working on The Horn in my spare time. I’ll post a little more from this weekend’s work in a while (I’ve got roofing issues that have kept me busy, so there’s not much.)

For anyone who’s following The Horn, it’s a novella series that I’m working on, set in the Dreaming Death world, but taking place in the months before the events of that story. It entails a mystery that’s unfolding in front of the Horn Family and the House of Horn–which aren’t actually separate–involving a stranger they find on their land who claims to be hunting for the abandoned Fortress (Salonen.)

If all goes as planned, I may end up with 2 or 3 novellas, tentatively titled The Horn: Oathbreaker; The Horn: Original, and The Horn: Something Else that Starts with O. 

If you’re reading The Horn as I add bits, then you’re actually seeing what I call a Zero Draft, because I usually show that draft to 0 people. This is truly an experiment for me.

I can already foresee problems, since I have a character named Nora and one named Nohr.  So there are likely to be name changes ahead.  And there definitely needs to be more description. And I need to get someone to check some technical aspects (I can research glaciers, but I’ve never been on one.)

So that’s what’s going on in my sphere….I hope you’re having fun visiting.

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