Weekly Recap – May 10th, 2013

The weather was strange this week. It would rain buckets at night and the following day, the sun would shine through a cloudless sky. Not that I’m complaining. The tomatoes and strawberries that we’ve been growing have been happy. I’ll try to snap some photos of the strawberries this weekend. A couple of them are turning a magnificent red. The tomatoes need another month or so. This the first time we’ve tried to grow anything ourselves and it’s more fun than I anticipated!

I took some advice from Nancy Kress’s Beginnings, Middles and Ends and have begun writing opening scenes from the POV of all of the major characters in my novel. The idea is that this will help solidify the best person to tell the story through before you get halfway through the middle and change your mind. So far, I have one scene down with eight more to go. I’m really enjoying the nice change of pace from plotting and character bios.

My current research read is History of the Sierra Nevada. It’s essentially a compilation of essays that have been published in the Sierra Club newsletter. Some of the information is a little dry, but there are lots of nuances about the environment during the time period I’m focused on. I would have easily missed some important information if I hadn’t found it here. The book has already helped flesh out some scenes and inspire a couple of new ones. I would classify this book as one best suited for illustrating the landscape – fauna and flora, technology, etc.

With the novel moving along well, I’m struck with a conundrum: to write another short story or not? I still have an idea running around in my head that I mentioned about a month ago. I sent it to the quiet room a couple of weeks ago, but once in awhile, it bangs on the door in search of attention. I’m just afraid that I will neglect my novel if I spend any time on it.

Do you guys work on multiple projects at once?

Have a great weekend and a Happy Mother’s Day.

-Phillip

0 thoughts on “Weekly Recap – May 10th, 2013

  1. I can’t not work on multiple projects. I always have about seven or eight little projects (short stories and essays) and one (sometimes two) big project going on. I find that there is no advantage to slamming my head against something I’m just not ready to write, so I’ll move on to something else until I’ve had time for the other stuff to mellow a little bit.

    It definitely requires a lot of mental dexterity though.

    1. That’s a great point. I’ve been using that ‘dead end’ time to do more research, but it could just as wisely be spent on writing something else. Thanks for chiming in, Oliver!

  2. I sometimes work to an extent on multiple projects. If I’m working on a novel and get an idea in my head, I might write two or three pages on that idea, then put it aside and continue working on my primary novel. But I can’t switch back and forth, especially if I’m immersed in a world and a set of characters.

    1. That’s pretty much what I’ve been doing now…Taking a few notes and then getting back to my current story. It’s hard to fight that nagging feeling to go write other stories, but I think in order for me to finish my current novel before the end of this decade, I need to.

      Thanks for your feedback, L. Marie (Sorry, I don’t think I’ve seen your first name!)

      1. Actually L. Marie is my pen name (though it is my middle name). You can call me Marie if you like. I will answer to it.

  3. Multiple projects? 2 books, short stories, one blog and two writer’s groups. Yep is the answer to the question on multiple projects

    1. LOL. Well no one can accuse you of slacking off, John. 🙂

  4. I’ve worked on multiple projects, but it seems to take me longer to complete anything. Also, I don’t feel as focused. It’s the same when I read several books at the same time, it just takes longer. I’ll look forward to your strawberry photos. This week I ate some of the sweetest strawberries I’ve ever had, but they came from the grocery store, not my garden. Good for you! 🙂

    1. We have a strawberry farm near us (actually, a couple) and decided to try our hand at it. We bought a couple of plants, but only one is bearing fruit. I’ll definitely post a photo of the few, but mighty strawberries. 🙂

  5. Working on multiple projects at once is always a good idea, in my opinion. It exercises a variety of writing muscles and gives you something to focus on if you’re suffering from writer’s block or need a break (or even a little healthy distance) from a big project like a novel. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I like having something to fall back on if the words and ideas just won’t come.

    1. Thanks for your opinions, Gwen! I do like the idea of exercising different writing muscles. It never hurts to keep your skills from getting rusty.

  6. Nancy Kress’s advice is exceptionally good–I use it even with very minor characters in a story, just in case, and it’s revealed some surprising results.

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Marylin! Nancy Kress does have great advice, resulting in some excellent books. Nice tip on using the same idea for minor characters too. I could see that providing some extra insight into the characters and setting.

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