So, how many projects should a writer take on at one time? A writer could write on a project until it's completely finished, and then move on to the next project. But how long will it take to complete? If it takes you three years to write and finish a novel, that's a lot of time between releases. Readers forget, publishing trends change, and what you may have been successful with back then may not work now.
But what if you work multiple projects...how many can you write on at
once, and still expect to complete in a timely fashion? On the flip
side, if you can finish projects on a staggered schedule, you can
release intermediate projects while readers wait for your next novel.
As an example, my first novella Heroes Die Young
came out in 2008, after being accepted the year before. In that year
between signing the contract and release, I began writing short stories
and getting them published. In the span of that year, I had two short
stories published in Ray Gun Revival, giving readers a glimpse of what
they'd see with the upcoming novella.
But at the same time, I was also finishing up my second novel Friends in Deed. That one was accepted and then published in 2010. In the meantime, I continued writing short stories, and had several of them published along the way. At the same time, I was also working on two other projects, my novella Seeker and my novel The Cure. And somewhere in there, I also started and finished the third Aston novel Death Brings Victory.
And so on and so forth...I always have at least two or three projects
going on at the same time. Currently, I'm working on the fourth Aston
novel Resurrection, another novella Fallen, and a screenplay for Heroes Die Young.
In my opinion, multiple projects at the same time are the only way to
keep your brand fresh in the minds of readers and fans. If not, people
will read your work, and most likely forget about you by the time you
have another novel come out (assuming you can't write a complete novel
from start to finish in the course of 3-6 months).
But what do all of you think?