Why You Can Write Two Books at Once… If One Is In A Series

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I began this post with the inclination that you shouldn’t write two books at once. Yet, the more I’ve researched the topic, the more I found that writing two books at once can actually be very beneficial.

I understood the cons of writing two books at once as this: if you’re working on two things at once, they’re bound to start looking like each other. It can create parallels in plot, and similarities in style and writing. Beyond this, each book teaches you something new for your craft; when you write two at once, it deprives one book of the lessons learned from writing the other.

But recently I’ve come across a few articles that argue that writing two – or more! – books at once can actually help your writing. Barry Lyga’s Rules of Writing Multiple Books at Once was especially neat. This is a gentleman who seems to write multiple books at once on a regular basis, and here are some gems of wisdom he offers to us all:

  1. When working on two books at once, the projects need to be vastly different from one another. Not only will this help the projects not resemble each other, but it also helps with burnout — if you’re not feeling up to writing one project one day, switch to the other!
  2. The projects should also be at different stages in the writing process. This is because of the same reason as right above — if you’re really struggling with one project, you can work on another that’s in another stage in the plot. This helps get you out of your head with one project and let you relax, all the while still being productive with another project.

He has other advice as well, more to do with writing in general (head over to his article if you’re interested!). But I thought the two points above were very interesting.

I had another thought strike me a few months ago, about this subject. I’ve been considering starting up writing another novel, in addition to writing the third in my current series. Except I was concerned that this would make the stories too similar to each other.

Then it hit me. That even if that does happen, it actually really works. Because in a series, the character’s are supposed to grow; if writing another novel shifts how the character (tone, etc) sounds — that’s what’s supposed to happen overall! It can be attributed to the natural progression of a series.

I mean, sure. Don’t let your stories sound exactly the same, in a series or not. But writing a series seems to naturally lend itself to writing other books.

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About R. K. Brainerd

I've been writing since my pre-teens, mostly in the realm of fantasy and sci-fi. My characters are pretty much always clamoring for attention in my head, and if I don't listen to them, they plague me with insane dreams and nightmares until I start writing. I also raise dairy goats, the evidence of which can be found on my Instagram. My debut novel -- an alternate-history fantasy -- it set to come out in 2018, probably Fall time. Welcome to the adventure. View all posts by R. K. Brainerd

5 responses to “Why You Can Write Two Books at Once… If One Is In A Series

  • jac forsyth

    I’m a great believer in composting. Once a book is written I leave it alone for at least a month, sometimes more. That means I always have at least 2 out to pasture and others at various stages of process… plus a whole disorderly queue inside my head waiting to be noticed. I used to worry that they would infect each other, but they don’t seem to.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Stamphers

    This is actually how I’ve been working for the last month. I have a series on my blog which I update two times a week, and since the text is small at each posts, I can focus on completing my other works as well, while still progressing the story on the series. Although it is not very efficient, sense you split your energy into two projects, it is much more relaxing.

    Like

    • R. K. Brainerd

      Huh! That is so cool. I’ve been feeling like I need to get on that bandwagon. Of course it’ll take a bit before I have projects in different places… Shorter stories though, that might work well. 🙂

      Like

  • The Benefit of Two Projects At Once | Awake Dragon

    […] did write a post a while ago about how having several projects to work on at once was really beneficial — […]

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