On the Writing Side

Dear Reader

I don’t know how many of you avid readers out there double as would-be-authors as well (I fall into this category myself), but I always wonder how other people process their ideas. Do they coalesce into interesting and crazy stories as you write? Or did you outline the whole thing before even starting? Did you start off with a character name that EXPLODED into a whole new universe of other things? Or do you just drabble until things finally start looking like a story, piecing them all together after the fact?

And biggest of all: How many things are you working on at once?

My computer is full of dozens of unfinished stories. I used to just have them all gathered into a single folder that was titled “Originals” (so titled because I used to write Fan Fiction and I’m not ashamed!). As things have progressed, however, I found that there were too many random stories for a single folder like that. So I created sub folders based on categories (I’m all about categories). Paranormal, realism/human, shapeshifter, vampire, mythology based, witches, ghost, (most of these are paranormal, but for those that don’t quite fit in the others, I have a separate folder for them), dystopian / apocalypse… Pretty much all of them are YA, so I don’t organize based on that specification. So I had all of these subfolders so that I could organize what I had, but that still wasn’t enough. I found there were too many folders and sub folders and so on. So now I have a “Currently Working On” folder which has all of my current projects (which have their own folders because I’ve got a ton of notes and scenes and character bios which don’t all go into one document because… uh, yeah, I’d never find anything in those). That’s helped to narrow down a couple of things to me, but mainly it’s shown me what’s important to me now.

I’ve had most of these stories for so long that my writing style isn’t even the same anymore! I’ve changed and so have my stories, so organizing things into the “what I’m working on now” category has helped me sift through to find the gems among the wreckage. (I encourage all you avid writers out there to try this out and see what you think.)

But here’s the thing: I still have about a dozen on-going projects that I’d like to do something with. It’s difficult for me to focus on just one, because I have a tendency to get tired with them or not know where to take them or get distracted, because I’ve suddenly had this new brilliant (I say this only moderately sarcastically) idea. It’s meant that I’m left with all of these half written stories and nothing finished. On the plus side, having this many stories allows me to keep from getting too tired of something. Whenever I get bored with a project, I can put it aside and work on something new for a while, then come back to the other one again with fresh eyes. I think that may be beneficial, but it’s so time consuming. I worry that I’ll never finish anything and I wonder what other people’s thoughts are on this one.

Have you finished something? (Feel free to share a link below if you have! If I can check it out I will and maybe I’ll make an Author Spotlight post for you, too.)

Do you encounter a lot of writer’s block?

How do you deal with too many ideas or not enough?

And, what do you like to write? (Because, it’s fun!)

Share your thoughts on the matter below and as I’ve mentioned, feel free to send me links to your book if you’ve got one published. I’m always on the lookout for something new and interesting!


E.C. Orr


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