Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Hartford Stories (a working title)

I have decided that my next book will be the first in a series. I never thought about writing a series before because sometimes, as a reader, I have been annoyed by them. I greatly dislike loose ends. There have been exceptions of course, but I generally prefer a story with a nice tidy ending. I want all the crumbs swept up and in the trash when I get to the last page. If it actually has the words “the end” typed out, I’m okay with that. I don’t mind revisiting a place or a theme. What I don’t want is to feel as though I’ve been tricked into having my next book picked out for me. (And if that book hasn’t been written yet…!)

In all honesty, it was a touch of laziness that sparked my interest in writing a series. I wanted to start a new book and it occurred to me that if I recycled my small town then I wouldn’t have to think of a new setting. And if a few minor characters made repeat appearances, they’d already have names! Names are difficult for me. This was a major selling point.

So Book 2 has a whole new story with a new hero and heroine. It will be an independent read that just happens to be set in the same imaginary town as Book 1. My concern now is that this series idea has grown on me almost too much. I recently had a conversation in my head that went something like this:

- Two books don’t really count as a series. I’ll need a 3rd.

- Since Book 1 covers most of a summer and Book 2 ends in the fall, I could make Book 3 a Christmas story. I love Christmas stories!

- Hang on. My current plan has me starting Book 3 near the end of January. How much will I be loving Christmas stories in January?

- That’s a good point. And I’d probably want to release Book 3 in the summer anyway. If I do that other idea first, I could make Book 4 a Christmas story. That would come out closer to Christmas.

- Oh my goodness! I think I’m losing my mind. What makes me think I can release 4 books in 1 year?

- Well, maybe I could. I’m almost halfway done with them.

- Halfway? Let’s check that math. I have one full draft in need of serious editing plus a cover and it doesn’t even have a title yet. That’s something like half a book. I also have about 3/4 of a manuscript, which is less than half a book. How is less than 1 half of 4?

- I know. I’m not bad at math. I guess I was suffering from a moment of flawed optimism.

- Hey! “Flawed optimism” has an interesting ring to it. That has potential for a book title. Is there any way I could make that a theme for Book 5?