J is for Juggling

I belong to three writing groups. A friend of mine is in two of the groups with me. She takes the same piece she is working on to both. If she has time, she’ll revise it from the comments from the first group before taking it to the second, but if not it’s the same thing. I, on the other hand, take something different to each group; one gets chapters from my novel, the other gets sections from a novella. On several occasions, my friend has remarked about my ability to work on two different stories at once. If she only knew.

In the past month, I’ve written a couple chapters of my novel None of Them Knew the Color of the Sky which deals with life post-nuclear war. I’ve also written a couple sections of my novella “In the Blink of an Eye” which is about some diplomats in the not too distant future. (I couldn’t figure out how to describe it in a sentence.) In addition, I’ve been doing a major revision – requiring several new chapters – of another novella Duty, which is about cleaning up the mess after the time machine malfunctions. I wrote a flash fiction story “Relics” for my February Newsletter. I revised several flash fiction pieces to take to my third writing group. I’ve written a handful of blogs, and I’ve started work on a tway, The Invisible Cliff. I think that’s all the writing I’m juggling. πŸ˜€

“How do you keep your characters straight?” Well, the pompous answer is that my characters are unique individuals and it’s impossible for me to confuse them. A better answer is that I remember enough to get by. For example, for about a year I’d submit Duty, it wouldn’t be accepted, a few days later I’d submit it somewhere else. When I started revising it, I had probably been a year since I had read it. I don’t know how many times I as I read through it going, “I don’t remember writing this.” So, am I juggling or just not showing you all the balls on the stage around me?

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One Response to “J is for Juggling”

  1. Gretchen Says:

    Wow, Steve! I always suspected you had more balls IN THE AIR than I knew about, but now I am truly in awe! And that includes however many have fallen on the floor πŸ™‚ I think I would have trouble keeping that many plots untangled. (For me, I think it would be hard to immerse myself deeply enough in the world of each story, pull myself out, and plunge into the next…)
    But what REALLY impresses me is — where do you find the time?? I barely have time to get my measly one chapter done in time to submit to the two groups! Sometimes it’s only half a chapter. Unless you have been holding out on us and have perfected that time machine, you use your 24 hours in a day much better than I do. I salute you, and am inspired to try harder!

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