Tuesday, 8 September 2009

I have a proooooblem.

It's a nice problem, but still, a problem.

I have two finished manuscripts. (I know, right? What a problem to have! I hope I have this problem often!! --not really--)

One MS, The Forester's Son, is heavy. Complicated to edit. Gonna take a long time, because the words in this one matter so much...the setting is so important to get perfectly right...the interplay of the characters...and the twist at the end...so complicated! But coming along.

The other, PoloGRRL, is light. Easy. A good subject, close to my heart...I truly don't think this one will be difficult to edit at all.

And thus, the rub. Right now I'm in the editing throes of FS, and NOT PG. And here's my question for you all today::

have you ever edited two MS at one time? Can it be done?

On the one hand, I think it would be good practice for me...you know, when I make this whole writing thing a reality full time...to be able to bend my mind to two such different, utterly diverse MS. On the other hand I think, are you nuts? Pick one and stick with that!

But that was only my rule for writing them, my lovely blogger peeps. I never established that rule for editing them!

And thus the rub.

I shall think about this this evening, and would really like your opinions. It would be nice.


Merrilee said...

My opinion would be no. Do one at a time. I think you risk blurring the identity and the voice by working on both simultaneously.

But hey, you never know until you try :)

Sarah said...

I personally work best by running from one project to another - if I've just got the one, it feels too enormous, and I also find that one project can often lend insight to another. I'm an ADD multitasker, and it works well for me.

That said, if one of the manuscripts is a lot simpler than the other, it might be a good idea to get it out of the way and take that sense of accomplishment to the tougher ms?

I think in the best case scenario - viz. you as a full-time writer - the important thing is to be able to complete things effectively and relatively quickly, not necessarily all at once. So I'd mess around with a few different tactics, and see what works best for you.

Ha! Not helpful! xx

JKB said...

Thanks Sarah, Merrilee...I'm leaning towards doing both but I think that PG will take so much less time, which is the only reason I really consider it. Then The Agent Of Awesomeness can have at, while I work with the heftier one.

These are both excellent points! And you've made me so much more confused.


Rose Pressey said...

I move back and forth between manuscripts. But I'm weird like that. I say do the light one, then go back to the heftier one.

Anonymous said...

I don't multitask well enough to do that, myself. I can't keep one whole story in my head while another one is taking up space in there; I only gots so many neurons, and they get overwhelmed easily. :)

I've seen it done, though. Only one way to find out! Good luck!

Stephen Parrish said...

You already know the answer, Squirt. How many books do you read at one time?

Right now I have a good half dozen writing projects going at once, fiction and nonfiction, long and short. If you have to write two novels at once, you write two novels at once. You do what it takes.

And you skype me. Sniff.

pseudosu said...

Get PG done and "out there" then go back to FS. Then you can take your time with it and still have an iron in the publishing fire.

Brit said...

I think it would be better to get PG done, out to agent and then take your time with FS.

Patti said...

I agree with Brit. Get PG done then concentrate on the harder one.

Heidi Willis said...

I really don't know, Jen. I think before last month I'd have said, ONE! PICK ONE!! Because honestly I couldn't have imagined trying to multitask writing that way.

But now I have two novels going and am editing another, and I have no problem keeping them straight. They are all so different, it's like being in different circles of friends.

The biggest problem with that is time. Doing more than one at a time takes more time.

I say go with your gut and your heart. I don't think they lead you wrong.

Lenore said...

I might do the "easy" one first just to have one done!

lucylilo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shari Maurer said...

Particularly with "pregnancy brain," I'd try to focus on one at a time.

Do the easy one, let Marlene get it out in the world and focus on the more difficult one to take your mind off wondering how the easy one is doing out in the world!

How great that you have two to think about. A wonderful problem to have!

Good luck!