Saturday, 8 June 2013

Threesome by Keren David

It's not something I've done before, and I wouldn't especially recommend it, but for the last nine months I've been working on three projects at once. Yes, a creative threesome. It's a little like I imagine being pregnant with triplets -  uncomfortable, exhausting and a bit scary. Occasionally it's overwhelming, more like grappling with a three-headed monster. On those days it's best to retreat and read someone else's books until my mind stops jangling.
A lot to grapple with
It can be done though. They key, I find is to block out chunks of time to concentrate on each project. I can't cope with working on all three every day -  work just grinds to a halt on all three. Much better to spend a week on one, then change track and pick up another one. 
There are advantages. I never have enough time to get bored with any one of them. I spend a lot of time reading my way back in, so I encounter each book as a reader far more often than I would if I was only working on one book.
Voice is more difficult to maintain, moving from project to project, and it forces me to plan ahead more than usual -  no bad thing, I've found. I'm newly in love with post-its and chapter plans, although they never quite work out as I think they will.
Best of all it means I am never  sitting idly waiting for an editor to reply. I have work to do all the time. In fact, I have too much work to do all the time.
I'm nearing the day when I can slay the three-headed monster. One book (Salvage, a contemporary YA book about how adoption affects siblings Aidan and Cass) will be published by Atom in January 2014 and is at the copy-editing stage. 
A shameless plug....
The  musical version of my book Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery  is going to be performed next week at London's Bridewell Theatre by the very talented students of the Musical Theatre Academy. It's not the final version of the show, so work will start again after the performance, but the level of urgency and the commitment to a rehearsal schedule will be somewhat lessened. 
So in a few weeks I'll be back down to one book again -  a project that I call my mad historical novel, which is at the structural edit stage. I'll have room to think. I might even come up with some new ideas.
I'm interested to know how other writers cope with clashing projects. Do you like working on more than one WiP at once?
The funny thing is that it now seems lazy and odd to only have one book to write. Maybe I'm destined to be forever pregnant with triplets. 

3 comments:

Jason said...

Really interestingb blog, thanks

Daisy Bumpsa said...

"It now seems lazy and odd to only have one book to write" - yes! On the rare occasions I have only one book to write I live with a mixture of panic and a feeling of self-indulgent immersion that slowly morphs into claustraphobia. Eventually, I start another book even if I don't have a commission because I can't stand it. Perhaps I just have a very short attention span.

Congratulations on nearing completion with those two :-)

Ann Evans said...

Enjoyed your blog Keren,and empathise as I always seem to have lots of writing jobs on the go. I think you end up being like a circus plate spinner, keeping everything going all at once. Congrats on the forthcoming book - and the musical. That sounds fantastic. I bet you can't wait to see it performed.