As you know, last week I was in a “dilly of a pickle” (as one loyal reader commented) over what to do about this pesky third book in my fantasy fiction series. (If you don’t know, just head here to catch yourself up on the latest and not-so greatest from my writing world.)

After a week of mulling it over and taking suggestions from your comments on this blog and on social media, I sat down yesterday for a good think over the matter. The result: a cunning plan even Black Adder can’t poke holes in.

(Oh Baldrick, you and your dimwitted wittiness. By the way, those of you reading this via email may have to visit my blog to view the video above).

Since I do my best thinking in color, I whipped out a few colored pens from my coffee-cup-turned-pen-holder and set about to listing the pros and cons of my various options.

Option One was to keep hacking at Book Three. Clearly this did not appeal to my good sense or my sanity since I’ve been trying to cobble this book together for over a year now and still barely have anything that could be mistaken for a book. Kindling perhaps, but a book? Not so much. So Option One was quickly swept off the table so the cat could shred it to pieces..

Option Two was to set the series aside and move onto one of my other manuscripts that only need a little magic to be transformed into books (this involves neither fairy godmothers, nor pumpkins). I do like this idea because it would give my writing brain a refresh, but it also seems a tiny bit like a cop out. I mean, eventually I am going to have to return to the series, right? Right.

I do my best thinking in color.
I do my best thinking in color.

Which leads to the winner…Option Three.

Option Three, which was suggested by most of you was to set Book Three aside and move onto Book Four. Since the main problem with Book Three is that I don’t know how to get part of the storyline on the path to where it’s going, figuring out how that storyline plays out in later books might (fingers crossed) help me set it up better in Book Three.

As one Twitter follower said, “Sometimes you have to get where you want to be, then you’ll know how you got there.” I’m pretty sure he meant that bit of Zen in regards to my book and wasn’t telling me to get lost.

And so, the cunning plan…

As I am heading off for vacation in September, and since I know I get no writing done while on vacation, I am not going to bother using the time from now until then to write. Instead, I plan to spend these several pre-vacation weeks dedicating myself to some serious outlining so I know where everyone wants to be in order to get them there. I do normally outline a book, but it’s only a very thin outline. This has worked in the past, but obviously this time my outline anorexia has led to trouble.

So, it’s time to pack some pounds onto an outline of the rest of the series. I’ll then use these fat stores when I return from vacation in October and hope they see me through a winter full of writing. Who knows, they might be so substantial that I end up writing the rest of the series in one mad flurry of drafting! A writer can dream right?

Time to fatten up the outline!
Time to fatten up the outline!

What this means for the three people who read my books…you will have to wait. However, since I will be writing Book Four and Book Three (and maybe more) at the same time, these books will be released not long after one another. So, your patience will be appreciated and will eventually be rewarded with what I hope turns out to be a great series!

Thanks for all your help everyone!!

What about you? Have you muddled your way through any life or career decisions lately?


PS – We’re heading into the final days of my Smashwords Summer Sale during which you can get the first two books of the series mentioned above for only $1 each. Hopefully these can tide you over until the third book makes its way to the online book shelves. Details and direct shopping links can be found here.

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14 thoughts on “Raiding the Suggestion Box, aka “Thanks Everyone”

    1. I sometimes rush things just to get them done rather than leave them unfinished, but the results are never something I’m proud of. So, I’ve learned a bit of patience…as well as a heaping helping of organization.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The strategy of writing book four before three is interesting. Maybe you’ll find it ends up being book three anyway? I’ve been in a similar predicament lately – am submitting Book 1 to publishers and started losing motivation through the partial of book 2. I ended up following my muse to start writing a completely separate story and haven’t been able to put the pen down. I’ve just actually been rereading Book 1 for another polish before hitting the submissions trail again, and after four months of leaving that story well along I’ve rediscovered my passion for it.

    I’ll be interested to hear how you go with yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s nothing like reading your own work and thinking, “wow, this isn’t too shabby” to give yourself a bit of motivation. Just starting the planning process for this Major Outline has gotten my creative juices flowing again and here’s definitely a new interest there. Good luck with your books!

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      1. Well, if I find any book-writing elves on my travels, I’ll be sure to send them your way! Meanwhile, if you could keep an eye out for the tax return fairy, that’d be great… I’ll have a much better week if she shows up!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It should be! Plus that calculator was one of the best investments I ever made… 15 years on, it still works perfectly, and I all I had to do to get it was to eat a bunch of M&Ms. If only everything in life was so simple!

        Liked by 1 person

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