Managing Multiple Novels in Progress

Should a writer try to capitalize on their success with a stand alone novel by writing a sequel?  Is it better to take a break from your latest novel and write a new book with different characters?  At what point do you say to yourself, hey, I’ve got too many new projects going and should just focus on one?

As some of you may know, I have a freelance writing gig for a large newspaper, but love writing other things, especially crime/horror novels.  Sometimes it is difficult to write what I have to in order to get paid when my characters in a new book are beckoning to me to write the next chapter.  To make things even more difficult, I often have several novels all going at the same time in my head – it is like having a crazy nightclub that is open 24/7 in my brain.  I am organized, however, and have notebooks with character sketches, chapter outlines, book outlines for each book.

I’m curious if there are others out there that do this, and if so, how do you manage it?  Do you simply put all of the other books aside and concentrate on one, or do you let the characters all run amok in your brain?

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2 thoughts on “Managing Multiple Novels in Progress

  1. Hi Charlotte, I wish I could manage more projects, I’d like to be submitting short stories, poetry etc as well as getting two books finished, but I can’t find the time nor focus – so concentrating on the book only, when I take a break after another draft of the book I may submit a few short stories – but doing all at once – I’m not sure I can..:) I admire your focus.

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    • Hi Julie,

      I’m focused, but there are plenty of things that get in my way. With my mom being temporarily disabled, finding time to write is difficult, but I try to set aside 1-2 hours each night for writing outlines and character sketches. I find these two tasks easier than writing a chapter in one of my books, and something that can be accomplished in a short time-frame. My husband laughs, but I have this big eraser board in my “writing cave” that I use each month to set my goals and deadlines for all my projects. Without that eraser board I would be lost!

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