"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)


It Is What It Chooses to Be

Funny how I like to think I'm in control of things.  Take this novel I'm working on, for example.  I did a little plotting for a change.  I won't say I went as far as putting together an outline, but I knew where I wanted to go.  My main story happens on a small island off the coast of Africa.  A romance, a washed-up castaway that throws a wrench in the story, and an attempted assassination that sends my MC back home.

But then I started writing the beginning of my story.  You know, the first 25%, the set-up.  And I found myself adding certain details I hadn't intended.  And I thought, shoot, that's pretty good, but if it's in the first couple of chapters in a novel, it's a promise to the reader.  You just told them that these things are important.  That you'll explore them further, that your audience will get to learn more.  How in the world am I going to do that?  Sure, I saw possibilities, but it veered so very far away from my little island off the coast of Africa.

It hit me last night.  My novel has decided to become a series.  I never would have expected myself capable of writing a series.  I have an idea, and I follow it through to the end.  But here I have four individual stories waiting to be told, all tied together with an overarching main concept.  WTF (let's choose "fudge" this time; I'd never say that other word)?  How did that happen?

So, here are my four stories:  a young boy with unusual powers who becomes a test subject at a laboratory built in a renovated slave plantation; that same boy who grows up to become an assassin; and then goes to work for Doctors Without Borders on a remote island; and finally comes home and initiates the end of the world.



Donna K. Weaver said...


He can't make up his mind whether to be a good guy or a bad guy, huh? ; )
I love series! Just do me a favor and make sure you end it satisfactorily.

Shelli said...

Donna, I'll do my best!

Michelle Gregory said...

that sounds like a cool series. great post. maybe that's the problem with mine right now. i'm forcing it to be something it doesn't want to be.

Cathryn Grant said...

It's so much fun when a novel has a mind of its own! Your project sounds very ambitious, have fun digging in deeper.

Angela Felsted said...

Wow, Shelly! Just don't stress about writing four books at once. Think one book at a time, one page at a time, one paragraph at a time, one sentence at a time.

Shelli said...

Thanks, Michelle -- Whenever I feel blocked, it's usually because I'm trying to force my novel. When I let go, it flows!

Cathryn, I know, it's exhilarating! I'll try to remember I'm supposed to have fun. ;)

Angela, I think that in some ways, this makes the endeavor less intimidating, kind of like breaking it up into manageable chunks rather than trying to get everything in at once. Great advice!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Pssst ... I have something for you. Come and get it at my blog.

Jen said...

I love series. I hate waiting for books, but then again I love it if the book is worth waiting for :)

Shelli said...

Thank you mucho, Donna!

Jen -- I love series, too. Now I need to make sure the follow-ups are worth waiting for!