I finished Nanowrimo with a little over 50,000 words, and am now officially a winner.
More importantly, I wound up starting a revision toward the end of the month, and managed to do both revision pages and new pages at the same time. (Different stories, there.) I am now about 120 pages into the current current revision.
So, to sum up…
Thoughts on Working on Multiple Writing Projects At The Same Time
This really worked for me. The problem here is organization. I came up with a set of spreads that work for me in the Progress Journal.
- Daily Word Count Spread–basically, a list of the projects and the amount being written in each one, plus a column for the total across all of my projects
- Daily overall word count tracker. How many words for the day, total. All in a convenient (and not even slightly obsessive) format.
- Weekly Project totals: The total number of words in each project at the end of a week.
- Revision tracker, which is currently in the form of manuscript pages. (And yes, when I start adding new scenes, that will change.)
I had five projects I was working on. The bulk of my Nano Words went into just two of them. The others did get some attention, but it became clear fairly early on which ones were going to be my focus.
The low end of the spectrum was a project with the inauspicious working title “Totally Inappropriate.” Uhm…. We’ll just leave a note not to give projects names that are variations on “Unpublishable Dreck.”
I feel like I did do a little less staring at blank pages and forcing out choppy little scenes. When something wasn’t working for me, I just rotated through the projects until something caught my eye. (Yes, there are still a few choppy little scenes, but not as many.)
The thing that I found most interesting is that I had some of those “Aha!” moments with most of the projects. Everything did seem to fall into place. I have a definite idea of where I’m going with each one of the stories.
Where I go From Here
The process worked for me. I’m going to keep working on the stories I have, and hopefully turn them into coherent, I-Was-Not-Suffering-Insomnia-When-I Wrote-This type manuscripts. I fully expect the distribution of words to remain more or less the same, until I finish the privileged two stories. After that, I expect one or more of the others to come to the forefront.
The measure of success will, of course, be finishing the projects. I’ll figure out whether this is a long-term change or not, when that happens.