Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Piling on the Projects

So, how many projects should a writer take on at one time? A writer could write on a project until it's completely finished, and then move on to the next project. But how long will it take to complete? If it takes you three years to write and finish a novel, that's a lot of time between releases. Readers forget, publishing trends change, and what you may have been successful with back then may not work now.

But what if you work multiple many can you write on at once, and still expect to complete in a timely fashion? On the flip side, if you can finish projects on a staggered schedule, you can release intermediate projects while readers wait for your next novel.

As an example, my first novella Heroes Die Young came out in 2008, after being accepted the year before. In that year between signing the contract and release, I began writing short stories and getting them published. In the span of that year, I had two short stories published in Ray Gun Revival, giving readers a glimpse of what they'd see with the upcoming novella.

But at the same time, I was also finishing up my second novel Friends in Deed. That one was accepted and then published in 2010. In the meantime, I continued writing short stories, and had several of them published along the way. At the same time, I was also working on two other projects, my novella Seeker and my novel The Cure. And somewhere in there, I also started and finished the third Aston novel Death Brings Victory.

And so on and so forth...I always have at least two or three projects going on at the same time. Currently, I'm working on the fourth Aston novel Resurrection, another novella Fallen, and a screenplay for Heroes Die Young. In my opinion, multiple projects at the same time are the only way to keep your brand fresh in the minds of readers and fans. If not, people will read your work, and most likely forget about you by the time you have another novel come out (assuming you can't write a complete novel from start to finish in the course of 3-6 months).

But what do all of you think?


joyce said...

I'm working on two projects now and trying to fit in time to do promotions. My hope is to refine my approach to make better use of time. Ha! Isn't optimism great?

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I don't create more than one novel at a time, although I edit a few simultaniously. Writing non fiction is a diffeent matter. Blogs tend to inspire other projects, so I can have bunch going at once.

Liz Fountain said...

How timely... um, no pun intended! After launching my first published novel, I was itching to get back to writing. I have a short story due soon, and a second novel MS ready to send out. And two more novels in draft stage...

Big Mike said...

I gently work three at a time, but this last year life has been too busy. Had to cull back to one. Oh well.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Richard Hacker said...

I've been working with my editor on a June release for Champagne, writing the next in the series, working on a novel in another genre and writing short stories here and there. You're probably right about keeping your name out there with readers, although I think I'd be engaged in multiple projects anyway.

Rita Bay said...

Interesting how everyone has different methods. I prefer writing short novels and novellas, so there's only couple of months for a larger project, less for the shorter ones. R