Just out of curiosity, how many projects can you work on at a time? (Not physically simultaneously, just, you know, during the same general time frame.) I’ve read about people with more than one WIP at a time, and the idea is slightly…mind-boggling to me.
I’m editing one project, Witches, and writing Siren Song. But…I still have The Fall rattling around back in there, and then there’s that new Camelot/King Arthur/Guinevere story the Muse wants to play with….Sigh. Don’t get me wrong, my writing goals are not very intense right now. If I get in a couple of 500-word sessions a week, I call it a good week (the habit is what’s important to me right now, after an extremely extended hiatus from writing.). I also don’t want to lose the emotion I have for those other two stories. Not when holding on to my motivation has been so tricky anyway.
The idea I’m currently considering: continue editing Witches of course, to the tune of about 5 chapters a week. (This is just really a pass to change it from 3rd-person POV to multiple 1st-person, not an in-depth revision.) Continue writing (at least) two 500-word sessions on Siren Song a week. One session with The Fall. And one with the Camelot story. Every week. To facilitate this, I would also want to actually outline all three stories before starting to write the other two. I don’t have any sort of outline for Siren Song, so this would undoubtedly be beneficial in that regard.
Is this insanity? Has anyone tried writing multiple stories like this at the same time?
Inquiring minds want to know.
I’m not sure I have anything weird to contribute to this. I mean, I’ve never been struck by a bolt from the blue. Or had the idea fairy tap me with her glittery magic wand. Or had a clown frolic up to me with the fragments of an idea floating around his head (thank goodness!).
For me, it’s like the Muse is a child playing with blocks. She’s playing with this one random block, sometimes for a long time, then she suddenly finds this other block and starts banging them together. Suddenly and without warning, she smacks the blocks together a certain way, and they fit together like Tetris. I can almost hear the “click” when that happens. And unrelated ideas suddenly become one.
That happened a couple of weeks ago, when I started working on my British Lit final, and I chose to re-write a scene from Morte Darthur in Guinevere’s POV. I’ve always wondered how she became involved with her husband’s best friend, and this was an opportunity to explore that. Except the Muse decided it was also a good opportunity to come up with a new story idea. Guinevere! King Arthur as a bad guy! Maybe some time travel and paranormal events!
Really, Muse? I mean, I already have two separate partially-done story ideas in progress. You decided I need another one rattling around in there? And the answer to that question is….YES.
So, I guess I do have a weird thing that inspires me to write: a tiny fairy in a purple tutu that lives in my head and forces her ideas of what I need to be writing on me at random moments. That really puts everything into perspective. I think I need to go lay down…
I’m not an expert or anything–well, I’ve been writing for around 15 years, so a semi-expert?–but I do have a few tips for when you need writing inspiration. Give them a try if you’re stuck, hopefully they’ll work for you.
Music. For me, it requires music without lyrics, so I don’t get distracted (although sometimes Enya works). YouTube is a good place to find new things that fit whatever you’re working on. If you go to the Music page, you can find songs grouped by genres, themes, or or even seasons. This could be really useful if you need a soundtrack to get in the heads of your character. (And I really have to start using music when I write again. Duh…). Warning: YouTube is distracting, so you can end up watching tutorials on obscure or impossible subjects if you’re not careful, eating your writing time.
Pictures. Specifically, pictures of beautiful, magical places (if you’re wondering what to write about), or pictures of the place you’re writing about (if you already know). For Chasing Shadows, my story set in New Orleans, I looked at tons of pictures from the city. I also–since I lived nearby at the time–visited the areas I was writing about (Yeah, I know that sounds like a convenient excuse to spend time in the Big Easy. It was. Perhaps that book needs editing…). Pinterest is a good place to find awesome, inspiring pictures. I have several boards for this. Warning: Pinterest can EAT YOUR LIFE, so you might want to set a timer or something to make sure you escape alive.
Pay attention. Seriously. If you’re paying attention, you can find inspiration in the tiniest, most random things. My Muse loves to grab meaningless fragments and put them together. I can almost hear an audible click when this happens, and I know there’s a story idea brewing. This happened just a couple of weeks ago, working on my final essay for British Lit. I chose to re-write a scene from Morte Darthur from Guinevere’s POV. Boom! My Muse said “Hey wait, I’ve got an idea!” and suddenly my WIP isn’t quite enough to keep her occupied anymore, because she has a shiny new idea. (That will get written, I promise.) Just pay attention. Inspiration is like lightning. It strikes randomly.
Any suggestions for getting or staying inspired? I’d love to hear them!
For my final paper in British Lit, I’m re-writing a scene from Le Morte Darthur from Guinevere’s POV. The Muse has decided to make Arthur the bad guy, and now has plans to turn this into a paranormal new/young adult (not for the paper itself, of course). I just wrote 500 words on this is about 15 minutes, so I know the Muse is loving the idea.
I already have two WIPs, Muse. I don’t exactly have time for a third one…
Chivalry is not dead. Yet.