Ah, the trilogy. Most often seen in science fiction and it seems in zombie sequence books, but there are others of us who also write trilogies – at least one of them. Mine is historical fiction and it actually evolved from a single book and a too-big-to-tell-with-one-book issue. I had an idea that took me nearly 1200 pages to get through (and it still wasn’t finished) so the story ended up in three separate, definitive books. In reality, while it originally frustrated the heck out of me, it has worked out exceptionally well, allowing me three beginnings/middles/ends and an opportunity to visualize both the big story and the smaller ones in an entirely different way. I have worked diligently to not only keep the continuity throughout, but to make all three where a reader can read any one of them and then read the rest and not feel like they started with the wrong book. Among a rather larger numbers of writers, I’ve always been a fan of Larry McMurtry’s work – well, most of it – and I like how the Lonesome Dove books work together moving the characters forward and backward in time. My characters aren’t as age developmental as his because the time frame is shorter between the first two books is relatively short and much longer in the third, but I really like being able to show the characters from their own and then others points of view.
I also had wondered when I started this project if I would be burned out on it when through, you know, totally tired of knowing these people and their lives. Such is not the case. I love them all, even the bad guys and those seriously flawed, and hope they are able to tell the story and educate readers a little at the same time. That said, I have another book that is entirely different with my agent and plans for a good many more that are all different from each other. If the trilogy is successful, I could always write an additional book or two about the characters showing background and life outside the trilogy’s setting, especially as there is 150+ years between one of the books and the other two. Time and readership will tell.
Meanwhile, I diligently work on book three (books one and two are complete), enjoying connecting it to the to others while still standing alone. All three can be read as stand alones and I mean that in the fullest sense of the word. They are not like so many books where one gets left wondering what happened at the end of book one so that the writer might sell book two and later book three. These stand completely alone, but the reader should, hopefully, want to know more about the people involved and then read the other two books. Looks like a great selling ploy, but in reality, like I said at the start of this post, it’s not. It’s simply a lot of story told in three books about some interesting people where the reader hopefully enjoys the stories and leaves satisfied with the characters and maybe a bit of knowledge they didn’t have when they started any one of them – and then wants to read more.
Back to it. Still a long way from the end of book three but getting there a little more each day.