Wednesday, February 20, 2008

By Request

A few people have asked me to blog about writing more than one book at the same time. Everyone I know who does this tackles it slightly differently. I can only talk about how I work.
The key to writing more than one project is time management. Which sounds boring and probably isn't the answer you all expected. Most people are actually working on more than one thing at once if you think about it.
Don't believe me?
Well, how many times have you been half way through book A and had a stonking idea for book B? You may not actually write anything on book B as you might be focused or be on a tight deadline for book A. So you might think, I can only write one thing at any one time.
Wrong - in your subconcious book B is slowly taking shape, the idea is growing and lurking.
Does that sound familiar?
For me, what I do when managing more than one book is time management. I have a deadline for book A so I plan a comfortable target each week that I need to fulfil in order to reach that deadline. I try and build in extra time in case of life interfering, holidays, illness etc.
I may also have book B, same process. I know how much I can write in a week and I know how fast I can go if there's a crisis.
For example if book A is a light, bright rom com my chapters tend to be around 2.5k in rough draft, then increasing to 3+k after editing. So I'll aim for one chapter a week, two if it's the only project I'm working on.
Book B might be longer chapters, deeper more intense, 5K, so again I aim for one per week.
Total per week is aprox 7.5K for two books which is only 1k and a bit per day. Not too scary - if real ife is busy I may only do 500 per day.
This is to complete my rough draft, I underwrite my books and add in layers when I edit/adit.
Edit/aditing is a whole other post.
Please ask any questions in the comments and I'l try to answer.


Amanda Ashby said...

Dear sweet Nell - you make it all sound so easy and sane!!!!! I once tried it and it was a disaster - I kept getting the names muddled, not to mention the plot etc. However, I often sneak off and write snatches of other books when I'm stuck on a wip, and then when I discover them at a later date I have no memory of how they got there!!!

Janet said...

How do you keep the 2 books in separate mental compartments?

Does it help if they are 2 very different types of stories?

Nell said...

I promise I'll do a part two to this next week so keep asking questions.
Lol, at Amanda thinking I sound sane!