I’m on the home stretch – polishing and revising book #3 of “The Shade Ring Trilogy.” It’s been a fun, challenging, memorable experience. A fellow author asked me recently if I would miss the characters once the trilogy is complete. I have mixed feelings. But, for sure, I’m really glad I got to know Neave Alvarez and the other characters! And it’s been a thrill to set my story a century in the future when, as the blurb says, “oceans have risen fifteen feet and it’s 120 degrees in Atlanta.”
One of the interesting things about writing a series is keeping up with what happened to who and when, and who said what to whom. But, unlike real life, where you can’t exactly rewind a tape to determine what happened on a certain day last summer, as the author, I can look back at book #1 and book #2 to double check my facts and to see who said what, verbatim.
But once the first and second books are out there, I cannot just change a character’s history willy-nilly. I wouldn’t go back and change that first kiss, for instance. Wouldn’t change the trajectory of the tsunami. Interestingly, those events are as real to me as the first kiss in “Jane Eyre.” Well, you know what I mean.
I was involved in a recent author discussion about how best to tackle a trilogy or series. Opinions varied, but most of the writers said penning the entire series before you publish anything is the best way to go. That way, if you want to alter the plot, or change something about a character or change a scene, you can do so. Like if you have an aha moment while writing the third book, for instance, coming up with a brilliant bit of technology that you never mentioned in the first or second book, you can go back and add it to the earlier books. But if you publish each book as it’s completed, like I’ve done with “The Shade Ring Trilogy,” you can’t easily change your mind as the author. What the characters did and said in book #1 is out there. The scenes that occurred in book #2 cannot be undone, so to speak. So, as they say in the news biz – I have to make all copy conform.
I’ve finished the second draft of book #3 and will publish this spring. I'm excited about how the third novel has turned out. If you’d like to sign up for occasional updates, sneak peeks and even some prizes now and then, you can do that here. And feel free to follow my Facebook author page here.