I’ve made it to the halfway point of my second Lux novel. I enjoy Lux. She does things I’d never do. Never. I gave her stuff I always thought I wanted, but didn’t need. She has lots of money. I gave up thinking I’d win the lottery a long time ago. She drives a yellow Bentley. I saw a Bentley at a car show in Auburn years ago and still tease that if I had a longer garage, and I won that lottery someday, I’d buy one. I probably wouldn’t. I don’t like to call attention to myself, and it’s pretty hard to drive a Bentley incognito, especially when you live in a cozy bungalow in a small community. Lux is daring, and I’m not. She pushes the envelope, and I don’t. So it’s fun to write about her.
And then there’s Hester, my witch from Muddy River. She’s a teacher at the school for young witches and loves teaching as much as I did. But she has power. Real power. And that’s what makes her fun. I avoid power when possible. It comes with responsibility. And that means work. So I live vicariously through Hester instead. She and Raven only flex their magic muscles to make things better. And that makes me like them.
As much as I love Lux, I lose steam on any novel once I reach the middle. Yes, I have plot points. I know what happens in every chapter, but the longer a book goes, the more clues and subplots there are to keep in mind. And they keep getting more and more complicated. And my writing slows down. So that’s why I started a new Muddy River short read. I start the day writing about Lux, finish a scene, and then need time to process everything–which takes me a minute. So that’s when I switch and start working on Hester and Raven. The scenes are shorter and I can sometimes finish one by the time I quit writing for the day. By trading off, I get more work done.
I’ve tried and can’t switch off to working on Jazzi. Writing two different mysteries at the same time gets too confusing for me. Lux and Hester are different enough, I can keep the characters and plots straight.
I got the idea of two at a time from C.S. Boyack. And as long as the series are different enough, it works for me. My critique partner and writer friend just shook her head when I told her about it. She tried and got less writing done than usual. It’s not for her. It doesn’t work for everyone. But for now, when I’m in the middle of Lux and the set-up for Hester and Raven, it keeps my writing fresh. Wish me luck.
And whatever you’re up to, good luck to you, too. And here’s wishing that you have a wonderful July. Can you believe half a year is over already? Happy Writing!
4 thoughts on “Two at a Time”
I hate the “messy middle.” They always slow me down as well. I try to have a side project going as well – even if its something I don’t intend to publish. Good luck!
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It works, and it gets better with practice. I still try to keep the books quite different, and I switch less frequently than you do. I may work on something like Lanternfish for two weeks, then abandon it when I run into a snag. I spend that two weeks on Lizzie & the hat, so the time is not wasted. I’ve found that switching often solves my plot problems without trying to force them.
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It’s worked for me rotating Lux mysteries and Muddy River, but not for Jazzi. For some reason, with Jazzi, I just have to plod through the middle. Odd, how different books demand different things.