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Double Duty

I’m doing something I haven’t tried before – working on two stories at one time.  I’ve been having trouble gathering steam on the main story I’m writing, which is a full-length novel.  Meanwhile, a novella has been sitting in the back of my head, calling to me.  The idea was sparked by a call for proposals, and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind.  It’s not something I would normally write, but the idea has grown into a well-rounded concept (to the jeopardy of my WIP).  The question is… can I work on two things at once and produce anything decent?

I think the answer might be yes.  Working on the novella has started the word flow again.  Those words were not coming easily on the novel – until they started to bubble up for the shorter story.  Sometimes it’s just a matter of popping that cork.

But how do I keep the stories straight?   Easy.  They’re totally different stories, with different characters and motivations.  If you hop back and forth watching Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the Jedi, you’re totally going to know where you are in each story and whether you’re watching Indiana Jones or Han Solo (regardless if they’re both played by Harrison Ford.)

My real concern is time.  When you’re working on two things instead of concentrating on one, they’re both going to take longer to finish.  Since the full-length novel is the second in a series, this is concerning to me.  I guess it’s a matter of sitting and staring at a blank screen or getting words out of my fingertips.  I’ll take the words anyday.

So how about you?  Have you ever taken on two projects at once?  Did they help one another or did they overwhelm you?  I’m hoping I haven’t jumped into the deep end here…

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