Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hyperactive Writer?

So you write the words The End, close your word .doc on your screen, mail off your latest WIP to your dream agent and…

What do you do next?

Most might want to take a break. Read. Go for a bike ride. Or are you ready to dive into your next project? If so, how do you choose which story to tell next? Are you the type of writer that has tons of ideas bouncing off the insides of your skull at all times?
 
I’m not.

I’m a one-project-at-a-time girl. Doesn’t mean I don’t have a TON of stories to write, though. But once I’m focused on a project, I’m there. I’m absorbed. In it until it’s done.

Having just finished my WIP, I’m itching to start the next one. That excitement of delving into a new story is thick in the air. The possibilities. The fresh start. I want to do something different—something that will put me out of my comfort zone. I’m thinking a YA Historical Victorian (which I really think I could pull off) or even just a Contemporary that takes place in the harsh ballet world… (Which I wonder why I haven’t done yet, because that is SO my story!)

How do you choose? Are you one of those organized writers that keep a notebook of all your ideas? Do you work on more than one project at once? 

Are you a hyperactive writer? I know I want to be pumping out projects like Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry. These girls whip out brilliant projects in their sleep. They're machines. How many stories do you churn out a year? Or does it vary?

I know, lots of questions. But I’m curious!

Red. Head. Out. :D 

50 comments:

  1. I'm still evolving in my own idea-generation/preservation system. I carry a journal with me everywhere, so when ever I have an idea that strikes me, I jot it down, just so I don't forget. If that idea niggles at me several times, I open up a new notebook (the thinnest and cheapest I can find) and start transferring some ideas there. If it still niggles at me, I finally pull out a manila folder, label it, and start dropping all sorts of notes into it. Now that pinterest is around, I also make a mood board for images that go with the idea. When I'm finally done with one project, or need a break from it, I'll start playing with the ideas I have collected for that new story line.

    Phew, that was long. Your post got me thinking, do you mind if I make a blog post about this?

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  2. I keep hoping that the more I do this the faster I'll get at it. I certainly haven't reach that point yet, though I do think this current WIP I'm editing won't take 15 edits to get query ready. lol

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  3. I'd read your contempory idea :) I sometimes get another idea while writing something, but I force myself to stay faithful to the one I'm working on - otherwise it will never get done! It takes me a looooong time to finish a book though. Usually I have NaNoWriMo to help me out, but I didn't do it this year.

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  4. Haha. I was just thinking about this. I have a few ideas. After reading WABW I was ready to jump ship on my current project and start a fun contemporary. But I'm not. I have to write Sir Callan. But I've started brewing up characters and ideas for Book 2 to my finished MS (currently querying). I'm using that to get my fun boy fix. I'm not sure how writing 2 projects at once will work, but maybe when one is stalled or too intense I can jump to the other.

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  5. I like to take a break between projects so that I can get other things done--like clean the house. :)

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  6. I'm a really slow writer. I will write one book for probably every ten that you finish. This probably doesn't make me a real writer. Meh. I don't mind being the tortoise.

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  7. Jolene Perry is extraordinary! I can't imagine working that fast, though I wish I could!

    I don't know how I will be when I complete my WIP, because this is the first one I have taken seriously. I imagine I'll have a day off, them jump into the next thing lol!

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  8. When I finisH I project I always feel like I'm in mourning for at least a week. It's hard to leave that nice safe world that I created.

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  9. I prefer to write one project at a time, but that's all my time allows for. When my kids are older, I may work on more than one book at a time. This remains to be seen. :)

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  10. I have Tons of ideas... and that's my main problem. Too many ideas floating around and inspiration strikes ALL the time, so I'm always going between projects rather than finishing one. I've got to get down to business... I WILL write today!

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  11. I could probably turn out 2 or 3 stories a year--maybe more--if I didn't have a family and a job. I have a few story ideas floating around, but I'm like you. Unless I have some brilliant moment of inspiration--a scene or plot idea that just HAS to be written down, I throw all my energy into the current WIP. Great post, Morgan! :)

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  12. YA Historical Victorian <--- I would read that.
    Contemporary that takes place in the harsh ballet world <--- I would so read that!
    Please write these so I can read them! I haven't read a ballet story since... possibly since I read Noel Streatfield's (spelling?) Ballet Shoes when I was little.

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  13. Do the ballet one! Or the historical Victorian, actually. I'd love to read both!! I have at least two or three projects buzzing around in my brain at a time, and I can't ever stick to one project, which I'm sure drives my CP's crazy, lol. I feel like I'm constantly asking them to read stuff! But it would be nice to have things simple--to just have ONE project when those bloggy contests come up or when it comes time to query or whatever. Then I wouldn't freak out and be like, which one should I do? Even now as I'm finishing Phobic, I'm thinking of ideas for my Tears sequel. Over active mind, I guess. (Or crazy, not sure which.)

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  14. I like to churn out novels like a machine. lol. I love writing Trilogies cause I love having a whole other world to venture into. Recently though, I've been focused on editing. I used to balance/write several novels at a time, but college slowed that. In fact, for about two years I barely touched my novels. Which was probably good for me. sigh.

    Great post!!

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  15. One at a time for me as well. Otherwise the MC's voice in one will appear in the other.

    Everyone knows when I start writing boy POV's because I start talking like a dude, lol.

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  16. I'm one project at a time as well. Wish more ideas would hit, but I do good to maintain one decent one at a time.

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  17. I've done all of the above. One at a time. More than one WIP at a time. I shelve and revisit and have loose notes all over my house with ideas, lines, characters, etc. The one consistency of it all is that I am always thinking about writing in one form or another.

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  18. I am working on my 1st right now. I have wanted to delve into other ideas, but b/c this one is my first, I have made myself mostly stick to just working on it. BUT I may try to work on two at once the next go round just to test myself. We'll see.

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  19. I haven't started querying anything yet, but I know that when I do I'll be using it as an opportunity to jump back into my other WiP while I wait. I've been wanting to work on that other WiP but felt like I should finish this one first.

    And you should totally tackle either project--they sound great! :)

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  20. I'm totally a one project girl too. I've been working on the same story for the past eight months and I don't see myself finishing anytime soon. It's just how I function. I can't think of a new idea when I'm so wrapped up in my current one. Great post!

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  21. oh I am the slowest writer in the world. I wish I was hyperactive.

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  22. Um, make cupcakes. :) LOL

    First, congrats on "The End". That's awesome. The next project is always exciting.

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  23. Jumping on board with the ballet/ Victorian ones. Would love to read either of those.

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  24. I'm one project at a time also. And I usually need a bit of time after I finish one book to relax, let myself brainstorm, etc before I can dive into a new book. The hardest part is always deciding what to write next! Sounds like you're having that problem too...

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  25. I'm a one project at a time...sort of. I am and will finish my current project but I have at least 3 other wip ideas lurking in my mind and 2 that I've already written up a few scenes for. Mainly just experimenting at this point....I'm bad. ;)

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  26. Ok so maybe it is a little too late to ask, but what does WIP stand for??? haha! I've got no clue....is it 'What I'm Perfecting'...'Write it Precisely'...'Wicked Ideas Personified'....Where ismy Pencil?'....(ok that last one was a stretch) I know I'm getting closer! GAH! hahaha!

    You should TOTALLY do a book set in the ballet world!!! Does she choose the man of her dreams? Or does she choose the dreams of her heart? Pretty good aye? AYE?!?

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  27. I don't know how some writers can have a multitude of projects going on at the same time. I'm working on two wips, kind of. I'm doing a revision request while the first draft of my other wip is on vacation. Once the RR goes on vacation (or goes out to the beta readers), then I'll start work on the second draft of said other project. I couldn't work on both at the same time. That would get crazy.

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  28. I'm like you, totally monogamous when I'm writing. Lots of idea's in the hopper, but I'm totally absorbed by just one of them at a time! :)

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  29. I will answer this better once I'm done with my WIP and ready to query! lol. I want to focus a lot on agents and querying when that happens, BUT I think I may start on the sequel to said MS. That way, I'm still on the same project, but still keeping busy so I don't go crazy!!!

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  30. I aim for one a year, but that may not always happen (15 years - 7 books ... it would help if life would grant me more room for writing). But, yeah. Always submitting. Always writing. That's my gig. :)

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  31. It depends... on time (CURSE YOU!) but I try one a year to be completed. I do dabble with multiple stories when I start out. I jot down some ideas, some scenes in a couple of my WIPs and then its like a vortex and I get sucked into one of those ideas, and once in a blue moon I write a scene for the one of the WIPs that got left behind.

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  32. I like both your ideas. Maybe you can write them at the same time? ;) ;)

    Ummm...my first book took me two years. That was before I deemed myself a 'serious writer'. SINCE I deemed myself a serious writer in July of last year, I finished four MS, one of which I'm polishing up right now.

    I also have about three others with their first three chapters started which I didn't feel like keeping up with.

    So I don't really work on more than one project at a time, but I do ditch my current project for another if the other is talking to me more. (Gotta get the voices to stop ;))

    I just typed 'the end' on one, which I will work hardcore through revisions/betas/etc. Once that's off on query I'll pick one from the other two ideas begging to get onto paper.

    yeah, I'm hyperactive :)

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  33. But really, can I be Jolene for a day?


    I like working on more than one thing at once. It's usually two wips and maybe a short story. I know. I'm a crazy fool.

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  34. I have ideas bouncing around all the time. I start a new Word doc for each one where I write down what prompted the idea as well as a few lines of plot description or the first few sentences if they come to me. I then usually pull out one of these ideas for NaNo (the hard part is figuring out which one actually has legs to go the distance).

    Where I run into trouble though is the rewriting. It takes me forever to circle back around each time because I'd always prefer to be working on one of the new ideas.

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  35. It's exciting to think about doing something different while working on a WIP, but I don't have a particular idea in mind. I'm not good at notebooks, all my ideas are on random scraps of paper, but I've got them all together in a folder. I'm like you, I can only focus on one project at a time, and if I get a new idea it gets filed away then it's back to the job in hand. Hopefully when I sit down and comb through my folder I'll find something I like!

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  36. I always write notes down in one of several notebooks. I'm always afriad if I don't, I'll forget them when that future project rolls around.

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  37. great post for me to read.. I am nowhere near you in writing...and I so appreciate your thoughts!

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  38. I have lots of ideas, but mostly, something just pushes it'sway to the front of my brain as I'm finishing a project. That's how I know which one comes next :-)

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  39. I guess it depends on if the story I'm writing is progressing. If not, I tend to jump around. :)

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  40. I don't tend to work on more than one project at a time. I'm not really good at multi-tasking different stories; once I start something, I hate deviating from it. :P

    Good luck with your next project, whatever it turns out to be!

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  41. @ Morgan: Oh my, if these are my "baby pics" there isn't a wallet strong enough to hold them:) PS... I rented this room for a day. Now back in shack :) PPS... Elmo was hungry... what can I say... that I put him in the tree last week and forgot?

    PS.. I'm a 367-idea a year writer... you should see the post-its and notes I have to organize.... but like you I'm trying to get through this WIP before moving on :)

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  42. I also focus on one thing at a time. While working on a project, though, I often get ideas for something different.
    I always go around with my small moleskine notebook. I take notes whenever I catch something interesting floating around my mind.
    And I often wake up in the middle of the night with an idea, or maybe the perfect sentence to end a paragraph, and I turn on the light to write it down. Then I work on it on the following days, at the light of day.
    Oh, yeah, I'm always hyperactive about my passions!

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  43. I'm writing my first ms so I don't know. I've been writing it for about 6 months and I am only half way done, so I'm obviously not very fast. I can't wait till I write my last sentence. As soon as I do though, I have to go back and edit it. I already know some things I have to add to it. I feel like I'm writing very slow, but there were a couple of months that I didn't write anything.

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  44. I used to be a one story at a time type of writer, but not so much anymore. I find between projects is the best time to collect ideas...and write them all down. It's the one I fall in love with the most that becomes the next project.

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  45. I'm generally monogamous when I write. Sometimes I'll change gears for a short story or something. I'm a slow writer, sometimes it seems like forever. I have a file of story ideas, when I finish this one, or ideally the whole trillogy because I sold it, hopefully one of those ideas will be the right one for the moment.

    When I finish something I usually take a couple day break, just to savor it, celebrate my accomplishment. Then the call of the keyboard is too loud to resist and I dive in again.

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  46. I'm afraid to answer the how many in a year question.

    I started writing seriously in January-ish of 2010.
    I have 10 projects that are complete, and that I feel good about. Three of those are published. Three others of those are on sub.
    I have 11 that are "done" but need work. I'm tweaking three of those currently, but have opened all of them within the last month or two to get ideas, or start my wheels turning in how I could make them special.

    Projects that have been started?? 30 maybe? Some I just have a few paragraphs in, or ONE scene in, or an idea that won't let me go. A few of those are at about 15-20K words, and it's simply a matter of quiet time. Well, and faster fingers...

    I should say that four of those above projects are collaborations, so I only do half the work.

    There's also no way I could only work on one project at a time because when I get to a point where it's not flowing like crazy, I skip to a different project that is.

    Also. Might I say (since I've already made a post-long comment) that this kind of writing sort of takes over, and I'm NOT a balanced person ;-)

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  47. I'm usually one or two stories ahead (in my mind) all the time. So I don't have tons of down time between projects. Probably a little afraid if I stop I won't figure out how to start again! : )

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  48. I have at least three other ideas rolling around in my mind. I don't work on them but because my focus is on books that are done and need polishing. I will continue to write, but I'm not one to type away at something every day, unless if I'm in crack down mode like I am right now. Or if I am roughing a book or editing it. I will go for weeks at a time until it's done. After that, I take a break. I have to otherwise I'll go bonkers. I love writing, there just has to be a balance. And if I had more time I'd definitely write more. One day that will come. For now, I work by day and write by night.

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  49. I have one project I focus on 80% of my time, but usually have two to three other things happening as well. At the moment I have the WIP of my second book. I have started putting together a totally different story, might be a series, might not? I am also participting in the A-Z Challenge and am halfway through critiquing a book for a campaign friend. I also work five days a week in a high school. I suppose I am a bit hyperactive???

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  50. I'm a one-story-at-a-time-girl, too. I have several ideas, and after I finish a WIP, I tend to choose whichever feels best and go with it. Usually, though, sometime in the next couple of weeks/months, I switch to a different gear, and THAT one becomes my next WIP. It's like I need a rebound relationship before I can dive in again!

    new follower!

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