Oct 062015
 

beta readersPeople keep asking me, ‘How’s your book doing?’. They then often can’t believe that although I have been ‘writing’ for about a year-and-a-half, I haven’t got one word on paper yet.
But things are starting to look up. I know that in another couple of months, I will finally be ready to start writing.

I was browsing through some of my old blog posts yesterday and read the one that I wrote at the beginning of this year. I was full of hope that by December, I would have two books published and another ready to hit the shelves in January.
This, as it turns out, is not what is going to happen.
Why not? Because I realised that to become a successful author in this day and age, I had to write super awesome books. This is certainly not beyond my capacity, but it takes more time to plan.

For instance. Cosy mysteries are usually character based. This means that there is more emphasis on the relationships between the characters, than the more technical details of how the murderer killed and how the police solved the crime.
The question cosy mystery authors ask themselves is ‘why?’, not ‘how?’.
I knew all this in January, but not long after writing my post, I realised that I hadn’t figured out the ‘why?’. More specifically, the ‘why?’ for the series. I could have shrugged my shoulders and pushed ahead regardless, but I wanted to write a super awesome series, so that meant no shortcuts.

In the past nine months, I didn’t only plan ‘a book’, I planned a whole series. My sleuth’s whole story-arc for the series to be precise. And not only his. Also that of his sidekick, his best mate, the Chief Inspector and the uber-villain. Five storylines woven together into one super awesome nine book story-arc!
I had to plan all this ahead, or otherwise I would have totally lost the plot halfway through the series. I simply know that I would have, as I am a plotter and not a pantser.

Each of the books in the series will have a separate murder to solve for the sleuth. Each book will be stand-alone in that respect, but there will be an ongoing storyline slowly unfolding. I hope my readers will find my stories interesting to read. In any case, I had great fun plotting them!

I am now ready to start plotting Book 1 in more detail. A lot of that is already in place, I just need to get it in the right order.
I know that once that is finished, I can start writing! Finally get some words on to paper. And the writing will go much faster than the plotting. I promise!

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  4 Responses to “My New Series is Finally Taking Shape”

  1.  

    Completely right. And if you do the mathematics on this one you’ll see why. On average it takes just about a year to complete an 80K book. Multiply that by the number of publications and it would take nearly 9 years to write as many books. Now say that plotting an entire series takes 2.5 years to complete, including writing the first book. After that a considerable amount of time would be saved on each subsequent installment because of all the earlier work,say 9 months. That would mean 2.5 years + (8 x 3 months) = 4.5 years to complete the entire series. That’s HALF the time it would take on average!

    •  

      Great calculation, Eva! And a comforting one. :) Four-and-a-half years to finish the series sounds completely doable.
      And you’re right. A lot of the work and time goes into the plotting of the series, but none of this is wasted. I can now build on this until the series is finished!

  2.  

    You’ve been busy, Maria. I look forward to seeing the finished product. Yes, people do often wonder how a writer can keep so much in his/her head. I completely understand. I have often told Julie that I’ve finished writing a piece. When she asks if she can read it, I often have to admit that I have nothing written down. good luck with emptying all that information into your series.
    Des

    •  

      Thanks, Des.
      And yes, that’s exactly what it is! The story is done, but it’s still inside my head! :)

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