Frontier Incursion was published at the end of 2012, and for the better part of the last fifteen months I’ve been writing nearly every day.
When I began writing Frontier Incursion, I thought I’d finish the whole story in one book. After I’d written about 150,000 words I realised that I wasn’t anywhere near the end at all, so I revised the whole thing, and brought the first book to a conclusion that I hoped would be satisfying for the reader, but very clearly led to another book.
I’ve written the second book, Frontier Resistance, and it will be published this year, and I’m now on the concluding book of the trilogy.
Writing multiple books has been quite a challenge. I’ve learnt enormous amounts along the way, mostly as a result of being professionally edited. I’ve learnt about my excessive use of adjectives, my stilted dialogue, and how to provide my main protagonist with a less than perfect home life.
As I’ve been writing the second and third books, I’ve been very conscious of making sure there aren’t any continuity issues. Fortunately I have an eagle eyed test reader who reads every chapter as I write it, and then reads them all together. She’s also not afraid to tell me when something isn’t working (thanks Grubsy!) Making sure all the plot lines come together at the right time is a massive challenge. I’m currently hoping that I’ve left enough subtle and not so subtle hints along the way to intrigue my readers, but not enough to give everything away, so that at the end it all works. This is a process fraught with fear.
I”ve read a lot about “subsequent book blues” – and so far, so good. (From my perspective that is – but I’ll have to see whether my readers agree!) I’ve had moments when I’ve puzzled over parts, knowing that they weren’t quite working, usually resolved by what I’d like to refer to as “the shower epiphany,” and also moments where I’ve had to go back and reorganise a location or a character.
BUT having said all of that, I have two thirds of a book yet to write. This one has proved to be the most challenging of all, mostly in terms of making sure everything is happening at the right time, in the right place, with enough action, satisfying emotion, and hopefully, lots of moments of both exultation and tears for the reader.
I’d love to hear how other authors deal with bringing everything together. I’ve found it quite a delicate procedure so far, but hopefully now that I have everything set up, it’ll be a run to the finish line. We’ll see!