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Thread: Working on multiple projects - how do you transition?

  1. #1
    Moderator Karen Mahoney's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    Working on multiple projects - how do you transition?

    On tumblr, Kelly Sue was asked:

    How do you get into the right headspace when you write? Do you prepare differently for books that are darker or maybe more comical?
    And KS replied:

    I don’t have any real practice for this, though I suspect I’m going to need to develop one. I’m not especially good at changing canvases and I can’t really afford the time it takes me to transition anymore.

    I’ve been thinking about using some kind of physical anchor for each book. Fraction actually suggested an outfit or an accessory (no really!), which is certainly one possibility, but the easiest option is probably a soundtrack… I generally prefer to write in silence but some kind of instrumental soundtrack might work.

    I don’t know.
    This is something I've been struggling with, as a writer (mostly prose, though now adding a webcomic to the mix) who writes multiple projects - all at different stages of production - all the freakin' time.

    Any tips on how to transition quickly from one project to another? KS lists a couple of suggestions (outfits, music) - I'll add SMELL to the list. Seriously. I know an amazing author (fantasy novels) who uses different flowers, herbs or an oil burner for each project. This helps her switch mindset quickly. I'm going to try it because, in general, I find it hard to write to music.

    Kaz

  2. #2
    Grifter tomgastall's Avatar
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    Re: Working on multiple projects - how do you transition?

    I put everything in the same universe and don't tell anyone I'm doing so. Until now, I guess.
    -Tom
    Tom Gastall
    tomgastall.com - creative services
    toppohaus.com - art & webcomics

  3. #3
    ndub33's Avatar
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    Re: Working on multiple projects - how do you transition?

    While I am still very much a novice, something that has worked for me is to take a little time (even a couple of minutes) to read what soemone else has done in the genre that I am transitioning to-if I am about to write something with a darker theme, I read part of a dark-themed piece from my bookshelf. If it's technical writing (which I do a lot of in my "real job"), I check out a co-worker's past effort. It's not really like I'm looking for ideas, I'm reading more for general tone. It's more like "cleansing the palate" from the flavor of what I was working on before, and re-setting the tone for what lies ahead.

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