Every writer is different. Some people plan a story, then outline, before drafting it and then editing. They work on the same piece for months or years and then they have a wonderfully finished piece to begin showing to the world.
Others plan and write and write, and never actually finish a full draft.
I fall somewhere in between. I write novel drafts, and then while I begin the next novel, I let the first one sit. Once the second novel’s first draft is done, I look back at editing the first story.
I currently have one story being outlined, three incomplete drafts, two “first drafts” that are finished, and a ‘third draft’ I’m editing. Each time I sit down to do “writing work”, I flit between writing new stories or editing old. Sometimes I’ve just spent two hours looking up query formats or drafting synopses instead of actually writing. I’ve begun toying around with a new character this week, which may form part of a short story, or a novel. I’ve yet to discover her story, but this is my method. I flit between the characters and tales, just as I enjoy spending different times with different friends.
In terms of prioritising, I should be mostly editing the third draft of Planes Shifter, and focus on finishing the first draft of either Shadow Sight, or Planes Daughter. So I bare that in mind while I’m flitting between my projects. I want to keep my writing fresh and to give my mind breaks from the various stories, but I do create deadlines and make specific goals for myself. These goals are important in keeping my writing projects on track.
This week though, I’ve just let myself be side-tracked and cleaned my flat instead. Sometimes, writers need to stop writing and experience parts of life they miss out in books. Having spent a few days away from all my work, I’m ready to settle back into the stories with a bit of perspective.