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How many stories do you work on at any given time?

Crumbly Writer

We've discussed this before, but Ernest mentioned he's involved with 30 different stories at the same time (in different stages of development), so I thought I'd raise the question again.

How many stories can you work on at the same time before each story begins to degrade?

In my case, I've noticed that, if I edit stories for too long, my creative writing takes a nose dive and the edit revisions begin to sound wooden, so I'll always work on one story while editing or revising another, just to keep my writing fresh.

Like Ernest, I've got about six full stories lined up, but which I haven't actually begun. (I've outlined them and know where they're going, but I haven't actually committed to writing them yet.) Those are all 'in the hopper' awaiting time I can dedicate to them.

So for me, the answer is only 2 (one I'm actively writing, and one I'm revising/editing), though I'll often post others, making changes as I go, but I don't count those since there isn't a much work involved.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I've got two in progress stories that I am posting as I write and several more that I have started but that I am not posting at this time. I go back and fort between them as inspiration strikes and time permits.

Ernest Bywater
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer

Well, I see what I work on and what's in progress as two different things. When actually working on a story, I work on that story and only that story until I either finish with it, or leave it for some reason. Then I move over and work on another story.

To confuse the issue further, I've over 30 incomplete stories in various stages of progress, I have 10 completed and posted stories listed as needing a revision, 11 stories in the revision process because they're with various editors (several are short stories), 2 new works with the editors that aren't actual stories but help guides, and am in the process of revising a completed story at the moment. When that's done I want to finish my Walking Dead Zombie Apocalypse type story, but think it'll end up as a short story, unless I can think of a reasonable way too add some extra action to it that fits.

typo edit.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

--One--

Sometimes I stop writing a novel to write a short story, but I completely put a halt on the novel until the short story done. I can only write one story at a time.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Capt Zapp

@Crumbly Writer

I have three in progress with several other ideas on a list. I jump between stories if an idea hits me.

quiet_man

One, although I'll drop what I'm doing if a creative urge takes me.

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Sometimes I stop writing a novel to write a short story, but I completely put a halt on the novel until the short story done. I can only write one story at a time.

That's like me, except I've got separate 'creative writing', 'revision' and 'editing' hats that I can switch between. But I find it too distracting getting into one story to jump out and have to change all my thought processes. Since the actions in one chapter lead directly into the next, I'm afraid if I jump from one to another I'll lose what's supposed to happen next.

Ernest must be a better multi-tasker (if such a thing actually exists) than we are.

Quiet_man, I'll drop everything if I get a new book idea. I'll outline it, write the general story description and maybe even design a cover, but then I'll put it aside while my brain works on how to resolve the story as I go back to my main story.

Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

Ernest must be a better multi-tasker (if such a thing actually exists) than we are.


CW,

It's not so much mutli-tasking, as multi-hattings and switching between hats.

To me multi-tasking is like that old pat your head while walking and chewing gum at the same time as you juggle a ball - doing multiple things at once. With writing I only do the one thing at a time, but will move between them. For example I'll be writing a new story, and run into an issue with a scene, so I put the story away to let my mind work on it, and go work on another story, or I'll move over to edit a story, or I'll go through an from an editor and see what to add into the master file or change on the master file. I move between tasks as need be.

Switch Blayde

@Crumbly Writer

But I find it too distracting getting into one story to jump out and have to change all my thought processes


I get characters mixed up (names, characteristics, etc.) when I'm working on more than one story. And even story line. But the most difficult thing for me has to do with "becoming the character." Like a method actor (e.g., Marlon Brando), I become the character(s) when writing a story. I stay in character. To jump from one story to the other causes the characters to behave, well, uncharacteristically.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Like a method actor (e.g., Marlon Brando), I become the character(s) when writing a story. I stay in character. To jump from one story to the other causes the characters to behave, well, uncharacteristically.

Ditto. My characters, especially my secondary characters, begin acting like the characters from the other stories. I don't 'become' the characters, but I do inhabit the characters' heads, and switching between them screws up my thinking process.

REP

I typically have at least 3 active stories, and 10+ sitting on the back burner. There is my main story which gets about 70% of my time. When I get overwhelmed by it or need to take a break from the main story for other reasons, I switch to one of the other two stories.

Story hopping has caused me a few problems in the past. In one case, I got my main character's name wrong by using the name of the main character in another story. My readers were quick to point out that mistake.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@REP

Story hopping has caused me a few problems in the past. In one case, I got my main character's name wrong by using the name of the main character in another story. My readers were quick to point out that mistake.

Don't sweat name-switching. It happens. I do that whenever I switch stories, whether I'm working on one story or several. Typically, I'll switch the main female characters between past and current stories. You just have to learn to do global searches on occasion.

Replies:   REP
REP

@Crumbly Writer

I typically overlook a number of mistakes in my stories so it doesn't bother me much. The stories are free, so if my readers have a problem with my errors they can pass on future stories.

What caught me by surprise is, I never thought to check that I used the wrong name for my main character. I have been checking for that since it happened, if I think of it. I've a list of things I globally search for before posting. I don't recall if I added that to my list.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@REP

I typically overlook a number of mistakes in my stories so it doesn't bother me much. The stories are free, so if my readers have a problem with my errors they can pass on future stories.


There are a number of good editors who work on stories at SoL for free. I find they do make the finished story better. The only thing you need to watch out for is if you write a story that squicks them, so you need to check your editor's preferences. However, what you write should be good with most editors.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

The only thing you need to watch out for is if you write a story that squicks them, so you need to check your editor's preferences.

Yeah, I had a heck of a time trying to find editors for my single gay romance story. Despite only having a couple quick sex scenes, I couldn't even get editors to review the non-sex chapters!

Luckily I finally found one who was excellent, so he made up for the rest! He's not into gay stories himself (like me), but reviewing them didn't bother him like it did everyone else.

Replies:   Ross at Play
Poses

I don't like to work on more than one project at a time. I really need to be in the head of my POV character, and if I'm jumping between two, that's hard. Once I wrap up my current story here, I'll probably take a long break from erotica to focus on a the second draft of a book mainsteam YA trilogy. I really don't want the femdom/erotica stuff to creep into my novels.

Ross at Play

@Crumbly Writer

I had a heck of a time trying to find editors

Something that puzzles me is why nobody seems to be using the 'View Edit Requests' option on the authors/editors page. In the last few weeks the only requests posted there were (a) one from an author who had been looking for over a month. I agreed to try the edit, but the task for too large for me at my slow speed; (b) one request I made. I got no reply, but deleted it after a few days when I worked out a way to satisfy my need.

Does anyone ever post requests there?
Do editors ever look there?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ross at Play

Something that puzzles me is why nobody seems to be using the 'View Edit Requests' option on the authors/editors page. In the last few weeks the only requests posted there were (a) one from an author who had been looking for over a month. I agreed to try the edit, but the task for too large for me at my slow speed; (b) one request I made. I got no reply, but deleted it after a few days when I worked out a way to satisfy my need.

There's a long history to that. In short, over the years, the majority of the listed editors have either died or quit visiting the site, thus most requests for editors are never responded to. As a result, most authors/editors have learned, over time, to avoid the location like the plague. It's probably good to check, but it's generally not a productive use of our time.

When asked, I generally suggested this forum as a better place to request edits, though most newbie authors don't know where to look, and often overlook the "Editor Request" page as well, simply stumbling along in the dark until a reader suggests better options.

Personally, I'd love to see Lazeez retire the page and ideally replace it with a date-stamped or a limited-time offer page, but that's ultimately a low priority item for lazeez as it doesn't affect readers, who help keep the site going. Newbie authors either figure it out for themselves, or they disappear in frustration. :(

sharkjcw

For a couple of years I answered edit request. Never got a reply so I just quit looking or replying.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@sharkjcw

For a couple of years I answered edit request. Never got a reply so I just quit looking or replying.

A better solution is to build personal connections, reaching out to existing authors while offing your services to new, promising authors. As you gain experience, those authors can recommend you to others looking for more specific skills.

Many of us milk our readership. Watching our responses for suggestions and corrections. By encouraging corrections, we see whether anyone offers decent advice over the course of several chapters and then offer then a job. That way we know the editors like and respect our stories and styles of writing, they're already familiar with the stories, and more editors means more mistakes recognized and corrected.

By and large, from what I've gathered, editing is a terrible profession, as it's extremely labor intensive (long hours, always under pressure to crank out results, followed by long stretches of no work dealing with whiny authors always upset about not being understood. By doing it on a volunteer basis, hopefully those will less intense training can enjoy contributing to the story creation basis more.

Perv Otaku

I have copious notes on future story ideas, but I generally am only actively writing one story at a time. Two at most, the story I just finished putting up was something I just had to get out right away rather than throwing it to the bottom of the list, even though I was already in the middle of another story (that will release next year).

That also doesn't count proofreading of already finished stories, since I have to fit that in too I'll inturrupt writing to handle it.

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