#RRBC “SPOTLIGHT”AUTHOR, GORDON BICKERSTAFF Is Here!
Today, I am happy to host RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S “SPOTLIGHT”Author, Gordon Bickerstaff! I’m happy to do so because Gordon is one of the most supportive members within the club and when you give support the way he does, you can sit here on my sofa and speak to my blog followers any day of the week…twice on Sunday, if you so choose! And now, I turn it all over to Gordon!
WRITING A TRILOGY – PLANNING
When I was young, I read Ian Fleming and more recently, I’ve read a lot of Lee Child. I knew I wanted to write a series when I started writing fiction, but I didn’t initially plan the first three books to be a trilogy. To me, the prospect of planning for three, seemed too overwhelming.
I’ve read that JK Rowling planned her Harry Potter series for five years before she started to write – so planning is key. The first draft of my first book ran to 130,000 words and I hadn’t finished the story. I realised it would be too long, so I accepted that it would spill into a sequel. Then, as every writer knows, the characters and the story grew organically, and by the time I’d finished the first book, DEADLY SECRETS, I knew it would become a trilogy.
A big planning decision at the start is whether each book will be self-contained or must be read in sequence to make sense. It is equally possible to have three books in one, or one book in three volumes. The approach for each one is different and it is important to decide early on which it will be. I decided that the Gavin Shawlens thriller series would be standalone books, but that anyone reading the trilogy, would gain the added enjoyment of discovering the trilogy story arcs that bind them together.
Every writer has his or her own style, but for me, I have to have the beginning and the end solidly sketched out so I know where I’m coming from and where I am going. So, the ending in the third book, THE BLACK FOX, was known to me when I was writing the first book. I think that it is essential to have that basic structure, so that you can plan for the end of the third book to bring closure to the trilogy. I think it would be difficult for me to write a good ending to the third book that had not been planned in the first two.
Good planning will establish and distinguish book story arcs and trilogy story arcs. The former will be complete in one book and the latter will complete in the third book. Working these out allows you to interweave them so the trilogy arcs become natural background in the book story arcs. I enjoyed the challenge of finding opportunities to fit a trilogy story arc into a book story arc.
For example, I wanted a trilogy romantic arc for Gavin Shawlens that had history (starting when he was sixteen), but not a simple one. One that has been painful and had a dramatic impact on his life.
In Bk1 he is reunited with the love of his life, and life is good – then it is under threat. In Bk2, this love is completely lost, which leaves him devastated and suicidal. This trilogy arc is embedded in the Bk2 story arcs and the reader thinks the romantic arc is completed. Then in Bk3, a dramatic twist brings the real conclusion of the trilogy romantic arc.
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Thanks for stopping by, Gordon and if you would like to follow along with the rest of Gordon’s blog tour (we hope you will), you may do so by clicking here!
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