It’s the first Wednesday of the month, making it the day for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!
I’ve been all over the security map this past week, going from high to low to elated to stressed. But since there are so many emotions in my mix, I’m focusing on just one topic–the one that has me scheming with excitement.
I’m planning book 3.
Now this might not seem like a big deal, but the thing is, this is the first time I’m planning a story before I start writing it. We’ll ignore the 7000 words or so that I wrote a few years ago. And the really creepy poem that goes with this book. Those don’t count.
After the mess I ended up with in book 2 and the fact that it took me five freaking years to finish, I decided I wanted to try to learn from my previous mistakes. Typically, I have a general idea of what’s going to happen and I just leap in and pants my way through the rest of it. But my progress was slow and I found myself wondering what a particular character was doing during a section of the book, leading me to hem and haw for several months. To help myself, I figured out all the scenes I needed in order to reach the end, and it worked, but it also made me realize what didn’t work. That led to a timeline shift and tossing out over 200K in book 2.
Yeah, let’s not do that again.
So I sat down and started figuring out all the scenes I’d need for book 3, and I discovered I had the same exact problem as book 2. About 3/4ths of the way into the book, I had no clue what a particular character was doing. I knew what was going on with the other characters, but this one? Hmmm. So I started asking questions of myself, I consulted with my sis-in-law, flooded her email with the random ideas that popped into mind, and voilà! I figured it out! This character would be dealing with people introduced in book 2 and encounter a particular item that’s referenced with some regularity in book 2.
And… now I need to add something to book 2.
Book 2 is out to beta-readers already. It’ll only be a small addition, maybe 400 words in one scene. But it’s going to come into play for book 3 and lead to the wrap up in book 4!
So am I insecure? Yeah. What else am I overlooking? What other issues are there because I haven’t figured out all the scenes I need for book 4? Guess we’ll see when I get there.
I’m skipping the question of the month because it just sends me spiraling into a state of despair. So rather than dwell on that, I’m pretending it doesn’t exist. That’s healthy, right?
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever planned a multi-book series? Have you ever come across something that you realized should’ve been introduced in an earlier book?
As a side note, you should totally pick up a some books while they are on sale for only $0.99 each. First is FULL DARK, an anthology featuring one of my stories. Next are Hinting at Shadows and On the Edge of a Raindrop, both by Sarah Brentyn. They are collections of flash and micro fiction, perfect for lovers of poignant tales or reflections on the human condition. More on these next week, but I didn’t want people to miss out on a sale while it was going on!