I'm sure I'll get the hang of this blogging thing sooner or later, but for now, all I can think to do is ramble a bit about the few things I do know. One of those is definitely multiple storylines going on at the same time.
At present, not counting the picture books - of which I have too many to count at the moment - and not counting the completed vampire novel and its sequels (as I want to get book#1 sold before I finish its sequels, though there are some in progress) I have more than 10 storylines on my computer. Now these aren't all fleshed out novel material yet, but they have the potential to be.
What I usually do if I get a tangent idea while working on a WIP is to put it in its own file for later use. If it's a detailed idea, I'll write a first chapter so I feel bad if I don't go back to it at some point. Currently, there are 5 first chapter finished stories in their own folders.
1. A dark YA about a society living in the light 24/7 for fear of what lurks in the darkness beyond.
2. A YA fantasy/semi-romance about a girl who goes to stay with her aunt (and the aunt's boyfriend) and discovers some interesting secrets from her family's past.
3. A YA urban fantasy about the child of love and war (not Cupid) who's a bit too much of a daddy's girl for mom's liking.
4. I'm converting a screenplay into a novel about a scientist who ends up haunted by his own success.
5. A straight out fantasy in another universe revolving around a ceremony of extinction.
6. Something that will probably end up in the Urban Fantasy category, though just barely. It's a more realistic way of approaching the fantastic.
7. A contemporary story of a group of assassins - based on a fantasy setting, but in real life.
8. An urban fantasy about a group of immortals. (no fangs, no fur, just really long lives)
Wow... that's 8 instead of five (though I think 7 and 8 are destined to be combined at some point...)
Make that 9
9. An unusual MG fantasy with elements from different genres - geared toward boys.
10. Another MG (contemporary) fantasy about a boy who lost his sight in an accident and gained a new awareness of the changing world around him.
11... okay, seriously, if I don't stop now, I'll have too many storylines to even know which one to work on.
11. Reality based YA about a kid with a developmentally challenged cousin and the summer he spends at the cousin's house.
See what happens when I brainstorm? It turns into a mental gully-washer.
For practical purposes, I try to focus on no more than two ideas at a time, but it's not always easy. Just a couple of days ago, I looked at one of my partial pieces and got a whole new perspective on it. The POV changed and the whole thing came back to life (that might be a pun if you knew what the story was about ;) )
Gotta go try and work out another few thousand words now, before another dozen ideas take root.
Oooh... roots - maybe something with plant people....