News Feed Forums All about writing When to start a new novel

  • Rose Blakeney

    23 August 2023 at 14:04

    Hello Jon

    Perhaps a good time to start the new one would be when you’re giving the first one a rest before beginning the editing. If it’s too late for that it would be best to find time for both, rather than give up the momentum of editing.

    • Jan Lyon

      24 August 2023 at 18:08

      Thanks Rose.

  • Mark Macgregor

    24 August 2023 at 18:12

    Hi !

    I’m in the very same boat, (or sinking ship 😏).

    I’m only about 25k words into mine and started writing something else as I feel I’m running on empty at the moment on the original. I’ll probably go back to it in a few days.

    Takes my mind off it some what.



    • Jan Lyon

      11 September 2023 at 20:23

      Thanks Mark. I’m feeling demoralised about the one I’m editing. I may need some space from it. I may try a short story.


  • Mark Macgregor

    12 September 2023 at 09:05

    Hi Jan,

    That’s exactly what I’m doing, starting a short story. I find taking some time away from the novel helps and distracting myself for a while with something new.

    Hope it goes okay 👍

  • Kate Sheehan-Finn

    12 September 2023 at 09:53

    Hello Jan,

    I think there’s no right or wrong way to write. I am editing my novel at the moment (well it is a full rewrite) and the final editing will come after that. In the meantime, I’ve written a couple of short stories for competitions, and I am outlining another novel idea – not full-on drafting, but creating the skeleton and doing some preliminary reading. I have also outlined a couple of other novel ideas while rewriting my main WIP. Has it held me up with the main WIP? This is a moot point. I was not more productive with my main WIP before I allowed myself to spend some time on other projects. I am not really more productive with it now. But I am making writing progress which is success to me. So, I would say that you need to do what you need to do as a writer, and the rest will follow. The project you are stalled on – this is usually because your head is telling you that there is stuff to figure out. So, I suggest not abandoning it, but free write about these prompts: ‘What does this novel need?’ or ‘What are my characters trying to tell me about themselves?’ And, if time and energy allow, write down those new ideas for other books/stories – sometimes it can help just to put them down. It frees up headspace for the main WIP.

    Hope this helps a bit,


  • Julie Ford

    21 September 2023 at 14:31

    Hi Jan

    I am attempting to plan a new novel while line-editing my current WIP. This is mainly because I like to be writing. However, I’m not sure it’s working out the way I had intended! I have been spending more time on the line-editing than the planning because I was hoping to be able to send out the WIP before the Frankfurt book fair, but I have missed that window, so there is not so much time pressure on the editing now.

    It really depends on your preferred way of working. Thinking about a new project may allow your subconscious time to work out what needs fixing in the WIP. I am a greaet believer in the power of the subconscious to solve problems (writing ones, anyway).

    Good luck with it.

  • Karen Vickers

    22 October 2023 at 12:03

    My answer … yes!

    Reason: When inspiration hits, go with the flow. When I started to write my first novel, within two days, I had come up with a second novel idea and a week later, a third novel.

    I focused on the first one for a few weeks, and when I hit a block, I wrote more on the second book. Forward to 13 years later, I have now finished my second one, and it is currently being edited. While I wait, and to distract myself from the time it’s going to be out of my hands, I have gone back to the first book, and have started to write it again.

    About a month ago, inspiration hit, and I came up with a fourth book.

    It’s never a bad thing to write another book while you wait. Sometimes you need to be able to have options, for when you hit a writers block.

    Good luck with your book.