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I have two stories I have been working on for a while - one is a two year monster of a book with plans, and a lot of material that I have to draw on about the world. The other is a small thing that I started on the side and is now making me really excited.

What advice would you give over which to write? Should I keep slogging away at the more developed one, which I think is pretty good storywise and just needs to be written? Should I leave the better planned one and just write the one I enjoy more? Or should I continue writing both?

P.S. - I know that this is a personal question, so take it as a more general question, on what to do when you have two projects,

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  • Big projects that indulge in world-building are often more about creating the world than telling a story – which is ok if world-building is your creative hobby, but sabotage if the goal is to complete a work of fiction and publish it. A smaller project may have less pressure to succeed, but will you be able to sit and write that story or will there always be another shiny new project to distract? A side-project "vacation" should maybe have very different stakes and characters, allowing you to balance one project against the other, to lean hard into the specific tones and themes of each.
    – wetcircuit
    Jul 16 at 13:27
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Though it depends on each person individually, I find it useful to have multiple projects running at once. It allows me to take productive 'vacations' from any one of them and come back with fresh eyes.

Do be careful this does not lead to project sprawl. Having more than three or four often leads to neglect or abandonment of at least one. Give yourself a maximum break for any specific projects -- for me, it's two weeks.

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I find that for me personally, writing is fun when the idea is fresh and exciting. When the project seems to drag on as the drudgery of "just the write the thing" sets in, I tend to lose interest.

My challenge is to keep plugging away at the project that is more developed (and therefore more promising and closer to completion) while using the new, shiny thing as an occasional break from the drudgery of my main project.

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