I have so many book ideas going on in my head at the same time. How is it you guys stay focused on one thing at a time?
Hey there @13kjt120 and welcome to Plotist!
You have just asked the one question I totally fail at! At this current moment in time, I have something close to 50+ WIP. It's crazy! I have several friends who are totally able to be focused one book at a time while taking notes for future books.
Something I've done to try and help myself is take Camp NaNo and NaNoWriMo seriously. I seem to be able to stay focused for short stints as long as there is a goal present. So while I may work on multiple projects all the time (including table top role play world building), those 2 months allow me to put the blinders on.
Have you ever tried to participate in NaNo either the camp or the month? :D If you haven't, we should totally do it together. We can keep each other driven and focused. I know many here participate. :D
Also, do your writing projects all take place in the same world? With similar characters? Or are they all new, random, and unique to themselves?
@josey I have not partaken in those events as of yet!
They are all very different. 3 Are fantasy, 1 is sci-fi, and one is fiction! I am really only focusing on 2 of them, but I get ideas for the others all the time! I don't really get to chose when I have an idea lol! Just sorta happens. I always make sure to write it down and come back to it later, but then I feel like I need to ad more detail less I forget... and then I get sucked into writing things for a story that I had to decided on putting down! Hahahaha!
However, this website will make this all much easier as I much prefer the layout that is here than the layout I have in my head!!! It's great! I am very motivated!
@k-thor That's great to hear! I know for me I use Plotist to track all my ideas, and to help collaborate with my friend. I can be right in the middle of one, have a plot bunny show up, and open the other world and add my notes, then go back to what I was working on. I also find having a collaborator, or a writing buddy, really helps. It keeps you focused, on track, and gives you someone who will support whatever goals you set up for yourself. :D
As for NaNoWriMo, we're HEYUGE fans of it here at Plotist. Many of our team participate each and every year. We have tons of blog posts coming to help you prepare, and to help support throughout November. :D
Yeah, Nano helps me focus on one idea and at least put a lot of words towards it. The only thing is that, for me, after the month ends, whether I've written only a few thousand (as is usually the case in Camp) or 50k, it takes me a LONG time to decide to return to it actively, even if I keep getting ideas for it. I guess it just burns me out?
I have the same issue as @Josey a lot, and that hasn't changed, but this year, my brain has decided to use random triggers to reinvigorate passion in previous ideas I've put down? In April I finished a story that I'd started in July when I heard a song that represented the idea 100%. This past couple weeks, I started RPing characters from a story I haven't touched in two years and now I'm debating opening the story up again, possibly this November.
I think organizing it might help you. I found that the first time I was able to really focus on an idea long-term was in the 2015 Nano, when I, for the first time, made myself sit down and outline the idea. And the thing is with outlines, I think some people think they need to be super detailed, but they don't (at least, for me). They just need to be enough that you know where you're trying to be by the end of the chapter/scene. In some of my outlines, I have one liners like, "and they found out what X was up to o_o" and because I have the context of the outline and whatever I've written, it's enough for me to imagine what happens in the scene/chapter.
(Yes, I put emoticons in my outlines. All the time. I also put sarcastic comments in. My outlines are pretty ridiculous and usually completely misrepresent the mood the story is actually told in.)
I made my venture into writing simpler by spending a long time (4-7 years?) doing world building because all of my stories take place in the same metaverse. Once I understood how everything worked together and would be able to reference my foundation for explaining the various fictional elements of the tale's I'd be weaving, I got to the decision making process of "what story do I need to tell?" I wanted to tell countless, but there are going to be some that resonate with greater intensity than others. I did get derailed during it's development and switched gears a few times, but with sufficient outlines and notes I can switch between projects (there might be days or a week of crossover as I reread the old work and get myself back up to speed, mind you).
When I end up doing 3 projects at once my brain can get kind of frazzled, so I try to keep myself to one core story at a time, but there are moments when the lure of a new story lingers out there and I am tempted beyond reason. So, balancing 2-3 at times becomes normal enough for me to not freak out about it. I probably couldn't do that if my characters were flung far and wide across alternate IPs. Having the unifying element of 13 Realms of Eternity is a major boon.
Not everyone is crazy like me, but the planning I do is to help support future creativity, not put my writing on rails within specific stories.