The Project Balancing Act of Authors

Eli Roth

Eli Roth

L. Marie asked:

“How do you juggle multiple series? What do you do to transition from one series to the next? What stories or characters from Windemere would you like to see in graphic novel form if you had the opportunity?”

I’m going to answer #3 first: No idea.  I’m focused a lot on the novels since graphic novels, cartoons, tv series, and movies seem out of reach.  I’d love for there to be a Legends of Windemere manga or an Ichabod Brooks or Bedlam graphic novel series.  Due to my present tense, action-focused writing, the transition wouldn’t be too hard.  So, it would really depend on which story the artist I worked with felt was strongest for the medium or they found more interesting.

As for the juggling, I tend to work with a hierarchy and factor in time.  The series being published always takes the top spot and I’ll give the lion’s share of time to that one.  It’s at the point where it needs more pushing and can’t be put aside.  Smaller projects won’t be ignored, but they’ll be saved for later or given specks of time.  This is typically when I don’t have enough time before the kid comes home or some other event is about to start.  On the weekends, I might put more attention on the smaller projects because of all the distractions around here and write a little of the main book at night.  It helps to keep everything flexible.

One thing that helps with the juggling is that all of these projects tend to be at different stages.  Legends of Windemere was being first-drafted, edited, and published for the last few years.  Smaller projects were simply getting future books outlined and prepped for me to easily shift into once their time came.  I find it less stressful to make an outline or design a character than the full writing, so I can handle disturbances better.  So it’s like I’m not really juggling, so much as moving from one station to another when the opportunity arises.  Personally, I think that if an idea for another story doesn’t stick around while I finish what I’m doing with another then it wasn’t meant to be.  If I can remember a twist or character choice for War of Nightfall after spending 4 hours with Legends of Windemere then it’s a solid idea.

The transition from one series to another isn’t as difficult as one would think. Having even a few hours of non-writing stuff helps clear the head, but I usually have at least a day between projects.  Normally, I’d take a week of watching TV, running errands, and fiddling with one of my much smaller projects like Sin or the superheroes.  I’ve learned that an idle author is just asking for people to criticize or drag away.  Lost count of how many times I’ve taken a week to recover my energies and people assume I’m about ready to quit because I’m not working hard.  Forget the fact that I work nights and weekends with this gig.  I’m getting off topic here.

I guess I’ve been doing transitions from writing to other stuff for so many years that it’s become second nature.  There isn’t much of a jolting if I control the shift.  What do other people with multiple projects do?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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37 Responses to The Project Balancing Act of Authors

  1. N. N. Light says:

    Charles, I’m in awe of how you keep your multiple series straight. Maybe it’s just me but my various characters like to hop across to another series and I get confused. lol! Well done, Charles.

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    • I used to have that problem, but I guess I trained myself to tighten the reins. Part of it is that I dread having to rewrite stuff because I let my mind wander. It does help to give a little time to each idea that requests attention.

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  2. I used to write one project, linearly, from start to finish before even outlining the next one. I learned that I can work on a novel, and short fiction in the same scope of time. I know what my future projects will be, but my plate is full currently.

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  3. Yeah, I’m still linear. I write a book until the finish of the first draft. The blog exercises any diversions I need.Once the first draft is done then the editing and formatting can take place while other things are being crafted. I am in awe on all your do. (I keep saying that and maybe some day I’ll shut up about it.)

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  4. In the early stages of writing something, I tend to jump between projects, depending on which I feel I can move forward with best at that moment. Once I have a project established as my main one, I tend to set others aside to work on only when I really need a break from my main project for some reason (usually either because I need to distance myself from it a little to work out a tricky plot point, or because it needs to be set aside for a short time until I can move it on to the next stage of production).

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  5. twixie13 says:

    I have a tendency to work on multiple projects at one time. Right now, I have 4 projects sitting nearby to work on, the 1 I’ve been inking for the past few hours, story ideas kicking around in my head…and cleaning that has to be done because that won’t do itself. And some reading for someone. I’ll usually devote a few hours to one thing at a time, or work on one stage for one project before working a bit on another.

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  6. L. Marie says:

    Yay! Thank you for answering my questions. Like N.N. Light mentioned, I also am in awe. It’s great that you come up with outlines and stick to them. I have trouble outlining one book, let alone books in a series. I find outlining more stressful than the writing, so my hat is off to you!

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  7. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Here’s a great post on balancing multiple projects from the Legends of Windemere blog.

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