I am not an organized linear-thinking type of person. My mind wanders in many directions at once. When I was a painter that tendency was a good thing. I would start one canvas, get as far as the wet paint would allow, set it aside and start another canvas. I typically kept five canvases going at once each in various stages of completion. It was an efficient way to work and I got a lot accomplished.
When I started writing a few of my old habits crept into my new life. I found I could get a strong start on a story and get perhaps 40K into it before another completely different idea hijacked my interests and carried me away. I currently have sixteen WIPs going all between 15-to 80k. I worked on four of them this week including a new one I started last Monday.
Each week I choose several WIPs to keep on my desktop and open the one that calls to me. The moment I get bogged down with a WIP, I put it away, take a dog walk and open something else when I get back.
I call this technique “The Carousel of Chaos” and it works for me though I know it might drive others crazy.
The plus side of the Carousel of Chaos is I never get bored and I often finish a couple stories back to back. I try my best to get at least a 1k a day written on something. On a great day I get 2k. I also means I have to keep a plot line and notes about each WIP handy because it does get confusing.
On another note, last Sunday just an hour before trick or treating started, I managed to finish edits on my Christmas themed story for Ellora’s Cave, “Nice Package” and email it my editor, make grilled-cheese sandwiches, carve a sloppy pumpkin, paint Vampire make-up on the family and get everyone out the door to trick or treat. It was a bit rushed but we had a great Halloween.
I got the book cover for “Nice Package” and I love it! Syneca did it and I can’t wait to share it.
To celebrate the Celtic-Pagan New Year I set new WIPs on the Carousel of Chaos and have a couple more books nearing the finish line, which I hope to deliver to my editor by early 2011.
I saw the email this week that next year’s Romantic Times Convention is being held in Los Angeles April 6-10, 2011. I’m on the West Coast so I’m thrilled that I can drive to this one and hopefully meet a few of you face to face!
If you’re a writer and you have tips to share about organizing and working with multiple WIPs—please leave me a comment! lol
Have a wonderful week.