Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Series Books - Pitfalls and Pratfalls

I'm gleefully editing my "Schumaker" story. Still enjoying it, in spite of the fact that I'm now into the "work" end of it rather than the less structured, creative aspects. In spite of the fact I've read this story a dozen times already.

As I work out the kinks and clean up the sloppy bits, my mind is racing ahead to the next story (although I can only write one at a time). I've been making notes for Cinda's story (from Living Canvas), but I'm also concerned about writing the second Kundigerin story (Wolf's story), and that concern is reinforced by some feedback I received.

The thing about writing a series (Kundigerin is my first "series") is that you have to leave room to expand on a theme. Provide information to the reader to draw them into subsequent books. In Mist on the Meadow, we find out that Wolf has a gift of his own which is unexplained. And there is a scene in the book which the characters don't quite understand (and that is conveyed, they don't know exactly what happened). Consider those points "teasers" for the next book. The plot is resolved, the relationship is resolved, but some of the more ambiguous points remain so, to be addressed in the next book. I'm pleased that people #1) notice these points, and #2) aren't getting hung up on them to the point where they didn't like this story. It's a delicate balance that I'm still learning.

Part of me feels I should continue Wolf's story before I do Cinda's - and this is the problem with an active imagination. So many ideas! So little time. I didn't immediately embark on Wolf's story after finishing Mist on the Meadow because there is a "recovery" period after you write a story. Finishing a book is like childbirth (you may have heard that analogy). I was exhausted with Wolf and Marissa - needed some time away from them. I had Schumaker on my mind, so I delved into it head-on.

I think of Anne Rice and her Vampire books. I remember reading them when they were "new." She annoyed me with her "open" endings. I like my books, even in a series, to have a beginning, a middle and an end. Anne Rice didn't give me an end. I finished The Vampire Lestat with a gasp, and Queen of the Damned had not yet been released. I was angry! I wanted to know what happened! I'm a little worried that some people will feel that way with Mist on the Meadow. It isn't open ended, but some things are unresolved, to be continued. I owe it to my readers to answer their questions!

And yet Cinda is whispering in my ear.

The final decision will come when I finish "Schumaker" - and I'm getting closer! By that time, Cinda may have quieted down and I won't be so conflicted. I do feel a responsibility to Wolf, after all. And I am chomping at the bit to take a tour of the Schwarzwald. The Kundigerin series is still active in my imagination and seeing some of the "old country" will surely help me perpetuate the folklore I've created. Unfortunately, the trip will probably have to wait until I get to Kundigerin 3 (Uncle Balt and Rosalie). Keeping my fingers crossed (and anyone who wants to share their experiences in that region - The Black Forest, I'd love to hear from you!)


  1. I can't wait to see what you decide. You do have a great talent for writing, so whatever you choose to do, I know it will be good.