Splitting Attention and Image Reflections

I’m finally at the point in My City by the Bay where I’m going to be posting stuff that no one else has yet seen. I can see plenty of you rolling your eyes right now. You keep making faces like that young ladies and young gentlemen, and it’ll stay that way. You mark my words!

Regardless, for myself and the handful of others following along, I think that will be good news. I certainly haven’t finished, nor do I know how I’ll finish the story, but I’m sure it’ll tell me when I get there. I read an article about why writers love to write, and one reason was “…because we’re the puppet master.”

Now, I don’t know about the other writers but I do know about myself. What I’ve certainly noticed is that I often question the control I have over my own stories. Sometimes they form on the paper, and I feel like I have little say in it. I could never see myself as the “puppet master.”

I loosely consider myself a writer, and not by occupation. I don’t get paid to write; I get paid to do accounting. For established veterans in the literary world, this may seem laughable or galling. Quite frankly, there isn’t any comment they can make that an entire class of grade school kids haven’t mastered. Kids are much more cruel. Trust me.

With all this free wheelin’, gun shootin’ display of foolishness (as the logical, shrewd writer would want as much money out of their work as possible), I’m starting another long story. It may be long enough to make into a novella, as it’s a blank slate. It has political viewpoints, philosophical viewpoints, and I have to build characters from the ground up. I actually like creating characters.  As a child, I didn’t have a whole lot of friends. I ended up creating entire casts of characters in my head anyway.

Enough of Memory Lane. I’ve been ticketed flying down that road before.

This brings me to the point of the post. I’m fussing over splitting my attention between two stories or finishing one and starting another. Has anyone wrote multiple stories at once? Did they find it manageable? Were they disappointed in the outcome? I’d normally do this myself, but don’t want to waste the 3-6 months in trial and error, when I could simply get feedback from other writers right now.

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15 thoughts on “Splitting Attention and Image Reflections

  1. I’m doing it right now. 🙂 It’s manageable, but I have a lot of control over my time.

  2. I think you get more done when you focus, unless you have tons of time and great control. I am good at being diligent with my work, however I always have too many irons in the fire.

    • This is my first inclination, but wanted to see how others did it. If they have attributes that aren’t really a part of my skill set, then I’d have to believe setting one story down and finishing the other first would be my best bet.

      • What happens for me is, I work on one thing for awhile…hope to the other, and get back to the first item. I usually drop whatever compels me the least though, and then move forward and finish what I feel is working the best. My work is mostly non-fiction though. Fiction is fun, but I complete less fiction than non-fiction.

      • I love fiction. It gives me the latitude to skip the “nuh-uh” moments and just play.

        One thing I’m seriously disinclined to do is leave a piece of work unfinished. I picture it sad and lonely with a potato sack for clothes. It makes me want to pick it up in my arms and sing Sérgio Mendes to it.

  3. I have a couple of unfinished projects that I bounce back-and-forth between. I don’t have any problem with the stories bleeding into each other…but that’s because one is a modern coming-of-age story and the other is a period epic fantasy. The fantasy actually needs more time to stew, I think; I’m more than 40K words in and just getting to the serious action. The other tends to be the thing I work on when I don’t have anything else demanding itself to be written; as such, I’ve been working on it for over a year and it’s nowhere near done.

  4. Over a year, you say? Hmm, I’m starting to think I rush my writing.

  5. […] and also have a technical education, which I had.” (p.15) This is very meaningful to me, as I’ve found myself in the same boat. What I have to ask myself is “do I want to be recognized as a ‘serious […]

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