I think of myself as a multi-tasking writer. Before that conjures up all kinds of thoughts as to what I might be referring to, allow me to explain. And I’ll back up a bit to the days when I was a sort-of writer.
That was when I wrote stories. Sort of.
They were more like pieces of stories. Paragraphs I liked. Sentences I liked. Dialogue I liked. Words I liked. None of them really fit together into one cohesive story. But I had fun writing them and I have notebooks full. Lots of notebooks.
Recently, I came across some of these notebooks and I started reading my sort-of writing. Some of it is pretty pathetic. But a good deal is actually quite good. So good, in fact, that I’ve begun picking up these pieces of stories and fitting them into my novels in progress.
Yes, you read that correctly. Novels. As in plural.
This is where the multi-tasking writer comes in.
I write books like I read books. I always have three or four or more on the go at any given time. A book in every room, so to speak, and this decades-old simultaneous reading habit of mine has spilled over into my writing life. In case you’re wondering . . . no, I don’t get them mixed up. Ever. Not the reading. Not the writing.
Obviously this method will not work for everyone. And I’m sure there are writers/editors/publishers out there reading this who think I’m totally nuts to say it works for me. But it does. I make no excuses or apologies. The hardest part about it is to make sure I put the scraps of paper in the appropriate file or save the Word docs in the right Dropbox folder. In my mind, however, it’s all neatly organized.
This is how my brain works.
The pieces are there for the picking. Simply insert and continue.
Of course, it takes longer to finish a book this way.