Monday, March 24, 2014

A Trilogy

I've written a trilogy. Well, to be more precise, I've written the first drafts of a trilogy. I have to say I am in a bit of shock over this development in my writing life. The three books can stand alone or be a trilogy. They can even - and this an even bigger shock to me - be the beginning of a series. Writing a trilogy or a series is not something I set out to do. I was writing the first book and one of the secondary characters started telling me his story. At first I thought nothing of it because I needed a few details about him. Then he came to life so completely that I had to stop and start making notes about him because it was really good stuff and I was afraid I'd forget it if I didn't write some of his history down. Somehow, knowing I was going to write another story in the same place helped me to add layers of richness to the first story. I'm not certain why that was the case but it's true. I finished the first draft of book one knowing I'd need to add more details about the secondary characters that were going to be the main characters of book two. I was all right with that though. Interestingly, it changed some of the dynamic for the main characters of book one - for the better.

When I started with book two I was elated to still be in the same town I had created for book one. Although, the town didn't have a name. And something that had been a minor blip in book one really began to bug me while writing book two. I was about half (I think) way through writing the draft before I settled on a name I liked for the town. Of course, the name I settled on has historical meaning for one of the characters of book one; so once more I was making notes for another draft of a story I wasn't working on. I wonder if this happens to all writers. As I was dealing with the major conflict of book two I realized there was a third story to tell as I introduced a new character. I was excited but also felt a little nervous because I was definitely out of my comfort zone. And yet, isn't being out of the comfort zone sometimes the absolute best place to be creatively? It is for me. 

I finished the first draft of book two and immediately started writing book three. I swear it feels as if this story has told itself. Of course that's not true but it has flowed along a lot more cohesively than the other two books. I could be done with this town now or create a series. That amazes me on so many levels. I have to tell you that I cried last night while writing a scene near the end of this third book. It's not an uncommon thing for me to become emotional over my characters and their stories. The thing is, even though I'm super excited to finish the first drafts and start on the second round with these stories, I've realized I don't entirely want to be done with them. And that's what makes me wonder if I may possibly have a series. I don't know yet but I'm definitely open to the possibility.

Right now I'm just really excited by the fact that I have written a trilogy. Maybe this is really corny to some people but I went out of my comfort zone and I'm really proud of what I've accomplished. I just wanted to share.

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