By Laura Drake
This is so not something I would ever do.
- I’m a pantster, and a linear writer to boot.
- I’m organized – anally so.
- I want to steep in my book, live it, snuggle up and get close to it.
- I can’t even talk and carry coffee at the same time.
Why would I even attempt it? What made me think I could do this?
Deadlines, that’s what.
I did it to myself. My editor knew I was already writing for another house, so she let me set the deadline for the Biker-chick book. But she dangled a carrot. If I submitted it in “a few months,” she’d give me a 2013 pub slot. Three books out in one year? Oh, the buzz I could get from that! As a debut author, I’m doing everything I can to garner buzz.
So I kind of eased into it. Here’s how:
- I’d write a full chapter, then switch books. That helped satisfy my need to ‘be with the book.
- I submitted that chapter to my wonderful crit partners, and moved on to the next. As feedback came in, much as it killed me, I didn’t look at it. I just set it aside with the first book.
- When I’d submitted the chapter on the second book, I went back and read the crits on the first, and did the edits. That seemed to warm me up for the story, and get me ready to write the next chapter.
What I discovered:
- I may not be able to talk on the phone and drive at the same time, but I can do this.
- Each time I switch books, I fall in love with the book again
- I’m writing more. I have to!
- When I’m stuck in one book, by putting it down and picking it up a week later, my brain has usually solved the problem
- It takes advantage of my discipline and good organization skills
- It’s satisfying to try something new, and I’m encouraged by my progress
- Whichever book I’m working on, the other is my favorite. I realized this is part of the “Rather have written than to write” syndrome. Gives me something to look forward to, though – like dating two very different men at the same time.
- I think my crit group is getting whiplash; cowboys one week, biker chick the next.
- I’m missing the snuggle-time with only one book. That may just be me.
- I do worry about continuity – it’s harder to see the plot and overarching themes when you’re writing in fits and starts. If you’re a plotter, I don’t think you’ll have this problem
Is my writing better or worse for this? It’s too early to tell – and I’m not sure I’ll be the one to judge that in the end.
But I DO recommend you give it a try!
So how about you? Have you ever tried writing two works at the same time? How did it turn out? Did juggling chainsaws lead to a trip to the ER?
Have I enticed you to attempt it?