Paula asks, ‘How many stories can you work on at the same time?”
Many writers can work on several different stories. When I was writing my very first novel (about 50 years ago!), I recall being able to write short stories at the same time. However, I now find I can only concentrate on one story at a time. In a sense, I develop ‘tunnel vision’ and can only ‘see’ the characters and plot in which I am currently involved. If I tried to switch between stories, I know I would ‘lose contact’ with my characters, and also with the continuity of the story.
While I am writing a story, I find I am completely immersed in the thoughts and feelings of the characters, and in the problems and conflicts they have to deal with. There is no way I could get myself involved in another set of characters and their problems, until I’ve sorted out the current ones! If I abandoned them, I'd have great difficulty in returning to them.
I don’t think I can break away from my ‘tunnel vision’ but if you can work on more than one story at a time, I’d be interested to know how you do it! How do you abandon one story to deal with another? And how easy/difficult is it for you to return to a first story once you’ve become involved with a second story (or more)?