Friday, 24 August 2012

Uno, Dos, Tres

“If a boy and girl walk off into the sunset at the end of a scene, it adds 10 million to the box office.”—George Lucas (

The Lord of the Rings. Hunger Games. The Golden Compass. They’re all trilogies that have made it on the bestseller lists around the world. What is it about trilogies that fascinate us?

As a reader, I love trilogies because you don’t have to say goodbye to your favourite characters just yet. They’ll be back with new ways to get themselves killed while entertaining you all the way. When I fall in love with a book, it’s forever (my brother cringes when I say I’ve read the same book for the fourth time) and what better way to get the most out of your love life than with the same hotties just somewhere else?

“Once you've invested hundreds of hours in creating a coherent universe, your story's grown to around a half-million words and can't be written as anything less than a trilogy.”
Lynn Abbey (

What I didn’t know, however, is how hard it is to write a trilogy (there you have it -- I’ve finally admitted a glitch in my system)!

“I would normally never set out to write a trilogy.
David Brin (

Hah! It’s not just me--now I have to stop thinking I'm special.

Keeping all your characters and plots in your head for a WHOLE book is challenging enough but THREE whole books?! I’m currently writing the sequel to The Scarlet Omen (I just couldn’t say goodbye yet) and have started to hit a few road bumps. Firstly, it’s crucial to remember that just because there’s more coming in book three, you can’t leave your readers hanging at the end of book two. Sure, they’re all excited about book two and how the protagonist’s journey will turn out at the end of it all but we have to quench their thirst at the end of book two as well. This is HARD! There’s always the temptation to make book two a lead in to book three (BIG NO NO) while trying to remember if you should already drop some hints now about what happens later (and try remembering which beans you’ve already spilled!). It’s truly a long-term relationship and seriously, I get bored really fast!!

So the most challenging thing for me at the moment is keeping myself happy with the content. I keep getting awesome revelations about other novels I’d like to write but my Scarlet Omen triplets are fighting for my attention. It’s great and I love my babies but it’s a challenge remembering that they’re three separate entities with wills and lives of their own and that they’ll come back to blame me with their shrinks in tow for trying to dress them up identically. Wish me luck…and cross your fingers for Anjeli’s safe return (you never know just how my ingrained aversion to boredom might manifest itself!)

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