Tag Archives: trilogy

Getting Serious…

 

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Dimension Norraena: Discovery has been published. It is the second book of the trilogy.  I love how it looks and I’m happy with the over-all improvement in my writing which among other refinements, is shorter as a result of my toning down my verbosity. It’s really easy when you are writing the way you talk, to add a lot of unnecessary words to your sentences. The feedback I’ve had on the first book in the series has not been a complaint about length (or actually anything else) however realization about your prospective readers comes with some surprises.

I gave books to a number of friends and family. I mentioned off hand that if they felt like writing a review or making some comments to please do so on Amazon. People who were close to me I actually asked to write a review. It was my understanding that you need a huge amount of reviews for Amazon to take any note of you at all. I asked one of my brothers and my son if they wanted to read my accomplishment . The first question from both was: “How many pages does it have?” Their responses were less than exciting. When I think of how many books I gave to people who were really positive about my writing and often very encouraging, and how few I think have actually read it, or not bothered to write a review-it’s disappointing.

It takes a lot of effort, energy and time to write a book. If you are not doing it for yourself as well, you may not get the acknowledgment, praise, appreciation or just enjoyment that you hoped for.
On the positive side- good reviews are refreshing and that brings me to my blog at this point on promotion. Ay yi yi…

I’ve heard so many authors talk about hating to promote- just wanting to write. You have to love the idea, I think, to get some mileage on your sales chart. It’s difficult because the product is in essence about selling yourself. You have to get others to believe that what you have to say is either of value to them or of interest. And let’s face it- there’s a world full of other authors saying the same thing about their work. Of course your slant on whatever you are offering is unique. So it is worthy of promoting. It’s still a chore, isn’t it? Which brings me to my long delay in doing it myself.

In the reviews, both written and given to me verbally, I frequently heard, “When will the next one be out?” I gave them a possible time frame, but I was off by three or more. It dawned on me that it was a long time to have to remember what happened before, once the new book was available. I realized that having a closer target date for the last book in the trilogy might be my best time to really start promoting. In fact I immediately began thinking about packaging the three books to promote together at one time. Granted some people don’t buy three books at a time of a book that has sold less than a million copies. ;{) So- I’m ready to get going. I’ve taken a class or two on ways to do this. I’m not just jumping off a bridge into frigid water. Given that writing here a whole lot more often, and figuring out how to get all the widgets working to get more exposure is one of the first things I need to attend to. . . well. . . get ready.
I’m holding myself accountable.

Writing a Trilogy

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The second book in the Dimension Norræna trilogy is in print. Today is the first day that I am starting to put my promotion plans into action. Step 1 involves updating my blog, the website, Facebook pages and starting the Amazon adventure. At the same time I keep writing every morning and adding chapters to the third book.

I thought since I followed the 90 Day Novel outline for the first and mostly for second book that I’d do it that way for the third. Not so easy. Some of the suggestions and advice I have come across in writing the last book bear taking a look at.

  1. Keep your characters traits the same through all three books. Sounds easy, but it’s not difficult to put a character in a scene, behaving a certain way that just isn’t a part of the character’s nature. I haven’t had a problem with that, although my main character, the hero so to speak, is on a learning curve so the arc of the story requires her to develop abilities and skills that she never had to begin with.
  2. Know your ending. That’s a big one for me because I didn’t have a clue about my ending in either of the first two books and now in chapter 27 or so, I finally am glimpsing final possibilities for book 3.
  3. Keeping a bible of your series. I hadn’t heard of this until recently (apparently lots of others have). So as a novice I have blithely proceeded without doing this. But I think it’s a great idea. I might do it now. (Okay a little late in the game) but it’s a good way to learn. A series bible is used to keep track of your characters. Their ages, birthdays, appearances, wants and fears, strengths and weaknesses, habits, favorite food, physical aspects, etc. It’s so time consuming to have to scan pages looking back for some information you can’t remember like what color eyes your character had and now you need that or in my case remember the spelling of a foreign name or place. A much easier way is to fact-check your series bible while doing your copy-edits.
  4. In the first book, which has its own beginning, middle and ending, you are building the start of the total story. Each book after has to build bigger. The final book needs to have something grander, larger, more life changing than what the first story was about. Since I don’t have the ending complete in my mind, I have found it more difficult to be satisfied with the ideas I’ve come up with. Are they big enough? Splashy enough? I’m honing in on what will happen, but it’s definitely not fine-tuned yet.
  5. Although Book 2 is a bridge to the last book, and springs from the first book, it can’t be all set-up and planning for the third book. It needs some power of its own. The hero might have a dark time, some suffering, some points of no return— even if he, himself is unaware that this is what is happening. He has to overcome what’s in his way. This sets up the final book more effectively, prepares the reader to want to know what is yet to come.
  6. Dangling threads: Your whole book might be done and you love it, think you’ve covered all the bases when your editor says: “You need to probably consider answering this thread you have that you did nothing with. You can’t just tease the reader and then not follow through.” Now you have to go back and re-write- maybe change aspects of your plot or find a way to paint yourself out of that pocket or eliminate the thread completely and re-write what you thought was a done deal.
  7. You’re coming to the conclusion of the entire story in the third book. Adding a lot of new characters, or new sub-plots makes the story more complicated. If you have secrets, hopefully they were alluded to—thrown in the first two books so that they lead into the answers in the third and final book. Technically, the word is if you did the first two books right everything is in place to tie up the story in book 3. Then again if you have a twist or more than one, more detail may be required. But the reality is, this is the conclusion and you are wrapping things up, putting the book to bed. Of course— like me— you might have crazy thoughts like what if this becomes a longer series. Ummm—maybe not.

When this is all done and I can make a set out of the three books, I’ll be thrilled. And I plan to celebrate—have a little party, but not without some regrets that it is done—that I have to leave my friends and their world. That will be a little sad. Guess I better start thinking about what I want to write next.