Monday, April 26, 2010

Reader question answered, #2

In response to yesterday's post, I was asked the following:

I'm curious - how do you decide which project to focus on at a time? Do you set yourself a plan, like, this week I'm going to work on Crown of Druthal, this week is going to be Thorn of Dentonhill? Or do you write whichever one is buzzing in your head the loudest each day? 

For me, it's pretty much a Little from Column A, and a Little from Column B.  Primarily, I set a plan-- usually based on months rather than weeks-- and that plan usually involves designating something as my Current Main Project, which right now is Maradaine Constabulary.  Then I usually have a Back-up Project, the thing to work on when I get stuck on the Main Project.  This usually take the form of something smaller, like right now it's a short story for an anthology, or something that's more open-ended, like worldbuilding work.

Now, external factors can influence what I make the current main project-- for example, when the opportunity arose for changing Thorn of Dentonhill from third draft to fourth draft (in other words, a requested rewrite to expand its length), I dropped everything to focus on that.  But mostly I make it what feels right in terms of what I want to get done.  I wanted to finish first drafts of Banshee, Maradaine Constabulary and Vanguard, for example, and first focused on Banshee.  But it didn't feel right, and I switched to MC.

And that's where the buzzing in my head comes in.  Sometimes it drags an old idea out of the stewing crockpots in the back of my head and forces that to be finished NOW.  Which is how, for example, the script for the graphic novel Triple Cross pulled itself into a completed first draft when I thought I'd be working on Banshee. 

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