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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Story Hopping

I've always liked to work on one story at a time and switching back to work on revisions or to jump ahead and work on a proposal while I'm writing something else has been difficult. Because of this, I'm finding it extremely odd that I'm story hopping right now. Voluntarily.

Two stories are alternating for center stage--my time travel short story (still untitled) and the story I'm writing for a proposal (paranormal romance). I'll write in one until I hit a wall, then work on the other until the same thing happens, then start all over again. I'm not sure how to evaluate the effectiveness of this.

On the one hand, maybe I'm making the best use of my time and triggering ideas to make each story better by working on something else for a day or two. On the other hand, maybe I'm needing to have ideas triggered because the version I'm putting down is impacted in a negative way by the other story. Maybe I'm hitting these walls because I'm mentally divided. Maybe it would be faster to focus on one the way I have in the past.

I don't know and that's a little frustrating. My time travel story was going well until my hero and heroine met. I kept writing, moving forward (or so it seemed) for about a week, but what I was putting down seemed bland and uninteresting and that's not good. Last night, it finally occurred to me that my heroine was acting out of character. She's not a passive person by nature and I didn't portray her that way--until the third scene of the story. It should never have taken me a week to figure this out, so did hopping over to my paranormal instead of thinking about the time travel slow me down?

Interesting question and it needs an answer. Because if working on the other story did camouflage the problems in the first, then switching doesn't work for me.

Of course, it's always possible that I might not have seen the problem for a week anyway and that I needed to wander aimlessly story-wise for a while before I could see the truth. Just in case, though, I'm going to focus solely on the short story until it's finished. (Besides, it's due June 1st!)