May 12, 2020

To Trilogy or not to Trilogy…..?

Horizontal pile of three red booksWhen I first thought about this post I wasn’t really sure how to approach it because the Trilogy is such a popular concept these days. Let me explain.

I have written my first fiction novel which will be self-published in the next couple of weeks. When I initially began writing it, although I had an idea of the storyline, I found that things kept changing, characters developed, new situations arose and the end plot bore only a passing resemblance to what I had started out with.

As this is my first novel (have I mentioned that before??), I don’t know if this is the normal way but I presume that most authors start out with an idea that then develops by itself during the course of the writing. Part of what I loved most about creating the novel was that I was completely in control of everything that happened and I had to keep reminding myself that it was OK to change someone’s name, or a particular circumstance as long as I remembered to tie it in with the rest of the story.

About halfway through the book, I began to worry that I wouldn’t be able to finish it within the realms of an average novel length and having poured my heart and soul into it, the last thing that I wanted to do was rush the ending for the sake of getting it finished in a certain number of words.

This led me to consider what to do – it was clear that my book needed a sequel but did I go for the increasingly popular Trilogy format and split the story into three? I pondered this for a while and thought long and hard about how much material I actually had and whether I could do it justice if I split it into three or would I just be dragging out a story unnecessarily?

Now don’t get me wrong – I love Trilogies, and have read some excellent ones over the years and there are an abundance of brilliant ones out there now. I have however, sometimes found myself slightly disappointed in the third book where at times I almost feel like the writer has run out of ideas, and I have admit to having ‘skimmed’ through this book on a few occasions in the past.

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Aware that that is what I do, I decided that I didn’t want people to feel the need to do that with my book (I so, hope you don’t anyway!) and so I have taken the decision to go with a sequel only, which I am hoping will enable me to finish the story without having to add in extra bits that are not necessarily relevant, for the sake of making a third book.

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Obviously this is just my personal opinion as I have never published a book before and I have absolutely no idea as to whether or not this is the right way forward, it is just the way that I have decided to go with mine. What I am going to be doing however is taking two of the other minor characters who have stories to tell, and giving them their own book as well, so I suppose you could say that I am going down the route of a series, although there will likely only ever be the four books.

I would be interested to hear what anyone else thinks about Trilogies and their rising popularity. As I said I have just gone with what works for me, but I wonder if bucking the Trilogy trend is a good or a bad thing?

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