Monday, October 20, 2008

Writing the Stand Alone Series

You’re writing a stand alone book and yet it’s a series. Sounds great, right? Well, it’s sort of this double edge sword thing. I’ve been using that word a lot lately, but with stand alone series, it’s true.

The first book is completed, shinning so bright, if it was a hotrod you’d seen yourself in it. And you’ve got it out there. People have requested it. Not quite to the point that it’s ‘your people call my people’ yet, but you feel it’s getting close.

You start the second book. Fingers tremble slightly as they pose over the keyboard. For the last month you’ve been dying to start this book. The first chapter flows and you smile. Of course it’s mostly POS, but not to worry, you’re writing forward and besides this is book two.

The screen is white, not a hint of black fills the page. You’ve now decided white is no longer one of your favorite colors. Shaking your head to clear out the proverbial cobwebs, you get another cup of coffee, grab a couple dove chocolates and head back to the laptop.

Maybe if you put on sunglasses it’ll stop the glare of what you are sure is now the brightest white on computer screen you’ve ever seen. And then it hits you. OMG, you’re going to need to plot this out. (Imagine hand slapping forehead here)

Two of your secondary characters from book one are the hero and heroine in book two. Shouldn’t be a problem, you’ve heard them in your head for months. They’ve been dying to get their story told.

Hero and Heroine decide to clam up. Oh yeah, they aren’t saying a word. You cajole them with promises of really listening to them and writing what they want you too. Nothing. What the heck is wrong with these two? Where have they gone? Don’t they know you’re ready now?

And that’s when you finally get it. You don’t know them at all. Sure you knew them in book one as secondary characters, but that’s all. You really didn’t care to much about their GMC’s and now all of sudden you think you can sit down and just spew it out.

You’ve got to plot, BUT more importantly you’ve got to LISTEN to them.

After pouring yourself a glass of wine, and taking the bottle with you, (hey this could be a long night), you settle down and begin. You talk about personal dreams, goals, and desires. Things no one else might know. During the course of the conversation you laugh and you cry and then you’re ready.

Electrical current charges through your fingers and mind, you’ve a real story to tell and it’s theirs. Not something left over from book one, but their lives, hopes, and dreams.
Book two, a stand alone series comes alive and you smile.

Writing Wishes and Plotting Dreams,


Patricia W. said...

Hope you're smiling (and writing)!

Vicki said...

patricia - I'm smiling big time, but it came after restarting the book. :)

Carolyn Jean said...

Yay! Oh, how great. I'm glad for you that that happened - at first it didn't sound like the post would have a happy ending. Good for you.

Jill James said...

Vicki, a happy writer is always a good thing. Enjoy the flow!!

Houston A.W. Knight said...

I'm back! Awesome blog this week!