by Karen Anne Stewart
THE WHOLE SERIES
(click on the picture to go to Goodreads)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Writing a trilogy without going unbelievable insane!
Thank you for having me on your amazing site today!
First, I’m going to make sure that I express how I am so not an expert on how to write a trilogy without going insane because I did have more than a few of those crazy moments while writing The Rain Trilogy, especially with Saving Rain being my debut novel, but I did learn a few things along the way that I hope readers/writers can find valuable. Saving Rain was originally intended on being a standalone novel but when I started the story about Kas and Raina, I just couldn’t stop writing and it quickly turned into a trilogy. My personal style of writing is a bit all over the place; I find it very difficult to sit down and write from beginning to end. With that said, my journey of writing a trilogy in sections and piecing them together later was a bit of a challenge at times. I had parts of After the Rain, the final novel, written while I was still writing Saving Rain.
The best piece of advice that I feel is the most important about writing a series is to work at your own pace and don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself, trust me, it won’t end well if you do (there will be tears, cussing, ranting, a few head bangs, and lots of chocolate and wine). Give yourself the time YOU need to write the story the best way you feel it will play out and allow yourself to deviate from the intended storyline in your head if you feel the characters are leading you a different way. Your characters will grow with the story, so listen to them! Don’t make unreasonable time lines that will only hinder your creativity, and allow time for social media interaction, booking blog tours, book signings (if applicable), and some de-stressing when things get too hectic. Research on how to promote my books and learning social media took most of my time; writing took the least-by far!
Your writing space can be anywhere…really, anywhere! Never go without your laptop or at least without your pen and paper; ideas pop into your head at the weirdest times, quite often when you aren’t at a computer. I work full time so I spent my lunch breaks writing in a myriad of places, my car, restaurants, the park, waiting rooms; I’ve even written in a hospital ER room, and, once, I placed my laptop on the trunk of my car and wrote while standing when I was waiting in line for a car inspection. Everyday life can spark amazing ideas for your story, so be ready! My preferred writing spot is at home, curled on my couch in the living room with my family. When I had to write the emotional scenes, I tucked myself away in my office. Most of my novels are written while I’m in my comfy pjs and have my iPod earplugs shoved in my ears.
This next bit of advice might seem to contradict what I just wrote above, but it’s extremely important. For me, it’s incredibly easy to get lost in my story, completely immersed until I have no idea how much time has gone by! That isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I didn’t want to get so lost in my novels that I lost precious time with my family and friends; balance is essential, so is food and sleep, which is easily forgotten when you are in that kickbutt, full-blown creative mojo mode and you just have to get all the amazing thoughts in your head on your computer before you explode and/or lose them!
Making each novel interesting and adding different twists and turns so the story isn’t exactly the same as the first novel in the series is imperative. Providing intriguing elements to the story not only keeps your readers interested, it keeps you all hyped up and itching to write more as well. My first two novels in the series have cliffhangers, so readers beware; if you don’t like cliff hangers, either immediately jump to the next one when you’re done, or don’t read the trilogy. I promise I wrapped the last book up nicely without those pesky endings that make readers want to throw their books or e-readers against the wall and leave death threats on the author’s Facebook page (NO death threats on my page, please – unless they are entertaining!).
Lastly, HAVE FUN! Let your characters be free and fall in love with them, after all, they are part of who you are and consume your thoughts and dreams. Enjoy the wild ride and hang on tight when those twists and turns leave you feeling off kilter and on the verge of insanity. Vent your frustrations in your story; those stressful times make for some great fight scenes – if your novel needs one. I love using my emotions in my novels…best therapy ever ;).
Thank you again for having me and a huge thanks to the readers! I hope you fall in love with Kas and Raina!