One novel is now a post-apocalyptic series.
Welcome to Part 3 of how I wrote a post-apocalyptic fiction series: from one novel to three novels in three years.
Let’s recall the first five stages:
- An Idea
- A Short Story
- A Novel
- A Rejection
- An Acceptance
If you need a full recap of how it all started, check out this post.
And then three more steps:
- The Sequel
- A Plan for Book 2
- Writing Book 2
If you need a recap of how I got to Book 2, check out this post. Now we’re up to Book 3.
Stage 9: The End Game
I admit that deadlines are good for me. I love writing inside a time frame. But remember, I’m a bit weird – I loved exams. Adrenaline = inspiration for me.
Broad Plain Darkening raised a lot of questions that I couldn’t wait to tackle. So many issues that I wanted to resolve. Imagine me rubbing my hands together in glee.
Once again, I needed a plan.
Strangely, my “plan” looks almost like a maths problem. How does it work?
- You’ll notice very few words. The story was in my head. These are just reminders so that nothing got left out. Sticky notes for my brain.
- Chapters are important. They need a starting point, an action or change point, and some sort of conclusion – one that leads to the next chapter, or one that closes the action and allows the next chapter to tackle another aspect of the story.
- Chapter length is important. That’s what the numbers are about. I’m moving scenes around to ensure that each chapter is a similar length.
- The first page of this notebook is dated Oct 19th, 2018. Three years ago today! That means that I was deep in writing Book Three while waiting for the edits to come back for Book Two.
Editing and writing at the same time: heaven!
Editing is such a satisfying task. You wrestle with what comes back; you suddenly see what doesn’t work. Then you scratch your head over how to make this or that point any clearer. You laugh at your hilarious typos (the runted land LOL!) and in your imagination, you high-five the editor at the brilliant saves.
Once again, working with Odyssey Books suited me down to the ground.
So within two years of launching The Pale, and inside 12 months of launching Broad Plain Darkening, I was back at Readings Carlton, surrounded by well-wishers, thrilled to introduce my new book to the world.
The Ruined Land was born, and my idea for a novel is now a post-apocalyptic series.
Stage 10: The Series in a Box
The Chronicles of the Pale is now a complete entity. You can even buy it as an ebook box set:
The Chronicles of the Pale Complete Series
Seven-piece Essential Toolkit for Writing a Series
- follow up your good starting idea
- create characters to care about … ones that YOU care about
- expect a great deal of work writing your idea into the first novel … possibly years
- refrain from killing your characters too early – but be prepared to kill them at the right time
- keep tweaking and submitting until you find a match
- be responsive to your publisher’s needs
- treasure the publisher who believes in you and your work
I have a dozen ideas for short stories set in the world of the Pale, but it’s no use planning a short story collection (working title The Chronicles of the Pale #4: Before and After) until I actually write those stories.
Jotted words in a notebook – useful as they are – do not turn themselves into publishable writing. And I also have in mind the possibility of a graphic novel or an animation. So a lot of work to be done first, but the world of the Pale now has to wait on edits for my current projects.
In the meantime, watch out for my next novel
How to Survive Your Magical Family
which will be out in time for Christmas. More news soon!