I’ve gotten this question so many times. Once people find out I’m a writer, I inevitably get asked the same series of questions. What genre do you write in? What age range? So on and so forth. And it always comes down to this:
“So, what are you working on?”
If I had a nickel for every time this question came up, I could pay off my college loans. And if I had a nickel for every project I then had to mention, I could then retire and my family would never have to work again. (Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the point remains.)
I seem to confuse my fellow grad students and other authors when I mention how many projects I have going on at any given time. I’ve never been one to just have one project and work on that until it was done. It’s possible that I’m making myself suffer by doing that, but I can’t just focus on one project at a time. I have a million story ideas running around in my head at any given time, and probably a half a billion more that are just waiting for a moment of silence to make themselves known. (Good luck for them, honestly. There’s not much silence.)
Many of my friends ask how I can possibly keep all that straight in my head, and I think the answer is two-fold. Because for one: I don’t understand how they can’t! It’s like asking a fish how it swims. It doesn’t know how; it just does. And since I can swim (as it were) it baffles me that they can’t. But on the other hand, we can all keep so many books and movies and plays in our heads, and rarely (I won’t say never) do they run into each other. Inception isn’t anything like The Princess Bride, nor is What Dreams May Come anything like Black Hawk Down. So I have no worries keeping them apart.
Similarly, let’s take a look at my major projects.
- Xenia Angelus – a trilogy about angels. Part one is Life (Somewhere I Belong), part two is Love (To Light and Guard), and part three is Death (Memento Mori). If I confuse these three I suppose it’s understandable, particularly 1 and 2, but I’ve had these around for a while. None of the angels are alike, even if some of their stories are. All dealing with angels of one variety or another being on Earth, and dealing with their tasks and repercussions of such. Often first person, occasionally multiple narrators.
- Noblesse Oblige – Probably the closest thing I have to steampunk or Neo-Victoriana. Alternate history style machinations of a large house and its staff, romance, intrigue, a tiny bit of suspense. Third person.
- Quest to Karantiri – High fantasy, if I know the term well enough. Magic and elves and faeries, and a girl on a quest to be the best of everything she can be. Third person.
- Son of the Revolution – my manuscript project. Vampires, werewolves, and the end of the world as they know it. Urban fantasy, thriller, things blowing up. First person.
- A Rather Large Puddle – YA to New Adult romance, really. High school senior falls for her very young English teacher. Chaos ensues. First person.
- The Other Side – Brand new project. YA anthropomorphic other-world. Fantasy, drama, teenagers. Half-furry, half-not. Dual narrated, third person.
As you can see, pretty much none of these are alike, except the three in a trilogy together. Puddle will have a sequel one day, but it follows secondary characters into college, and as such, is absolutely nothing like the primary novel. But this isn’t even taking into consideration the bunches and bunches of other ideas and half-started projects I have floating around my hard drive.
…I may be just a touch ADD. Hah!
But I do think it’s an interesting concept. Is it something in a writer’s brain that doesn’t let them work on more than one project at once? Or is it a personal preference/choice situation? I’m not sure. But it’s something interesting to think about.
What about you? How many projects do you have going on at once? Do you think it’s a personal preference, a choice, or something more hard-wired? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear what you’re all working on.