I mentioned I was writing a book? Well, here’s the latest update in the editing process…
When I first came up with the large-scale, overall idea for where I wanted my story to go throughout the series, I expected to spread it out over five books. The book series I was obsessed with at the time – Heroes of Olympus, by Rick Riordan (excellent series, by the way) – had five books, so I couldn’t imagine writing any less for my own story.
But recently, I began thinking that’s not going to work.
I was in the middle of writing the third book in a notebook, trying to follow its plot arc, but I had been stuck in pretty much the same place for months. I was just bored and I couldn’t get into it. It was chronic writer’s block. I realized a few days later that though I had drawn up an outline, I had no idea how to make it actually happen. I needed a reform.
That also got me thinking about the unwritten fourth and fifth books. With this new existential crisis outlook, I realized that my plans for them were also hazy at best, and those I did have lacked the intrigue that came with the first book.
And it hit me – why not shrink the series down from five books to only three?
At first, I thought, ‘no,’ but I quickly revised that outlook after considering the benefits. First, I could condense my overall plot into something far more manageable, and retain the original feel. Second, when I publish the series, having only three books, my readers wouldn’t have to wait super long to finish the series. It would reduce the readers’ frustration – plus, trilogies are very popular in young adult fiction. In addition, stuffing all the key plot points into three-fifths of the original space creates less space for lighthearted filler banter. This would really help to mature my tone some more, which was one of my main editing goals.
So right now, I’m shifting around some plot points and smushing them together to completely refigure the arc of the story, making it fit into three books. There’s a sense of relief as I do this. I never realized how uncomfortable I was with my own story before taking charge of it.
It’s my imagination going down on paper and I love it so much!