Friday, 23 March 2012

Oops, I'm doing it again...

A few months ago, I was more than half way through writing a historical romance set in 1880s France, which I must say I was rather happy with, when I started getting ideas for another, entirely different, story. I was naive and arrogant enough to think I could successfully carry on writing both at the same time even if they had vastly different storylines, settings, periods and sets of characters. I really believed I could bring both to completion. It didn’t work, of course. After a couple of weeks, I completely abandoned the first novel but managed to complete the other. The first story has now been ‘in storage’ for so long I lost the thread, the relationship with the characters and the inclination to finish it. I still believe in it though and keep promising myself that I will. One day.

I have since started a contemporary romance set in Scotland with what I believed were strong, likeable characters, a good plot and enough twists and turns to keep me interested (!). It was going quite well, or so I thought, when out of the blue it happened again. Images and characters from another place and another time started to haunt me. Lines of dialogues popped into my mind all the time. When I woke up one morning with the perfect title for the new story, I knew I just had to start writing.

Only this time, I really don’t want to give up the first story because I know that if I leave it too long, I will lose my connection with it too and it will never get finished.

So what should I do? Is it possible to write two different novels at the same time? How do you do it? Write a little of each every day or on alternate days or weeks? How do I keep everything fresh, exciting and alive in my head? Any suggestions gratefully received.


  1. Hi Marie,

    Now you're asking: keep sane!? Hee hee, I don't think I could write from scratch two novels at one time, but I do revise last but one whilst writing a new project and the middle one in wait mode... ;)


  2. I believe there is an upside and a downside to writing two at the same time. The upside is that each one gets a little breathing space for reflection before revisiting with a fresh eye. The downside is, like you say, losing that intense emotional connection you want with your characters. It's a bit like two-timing: is there enough of you to go around?