I was organizing my writing folders and re-read a novel I wrote.
It’s unpublished and might well remain unpublished forever. It has pretty huge problems. Mostly because it’s one giant introduction to world & characters. I really struggled with making a plot for it at all.
But it’s all really important stuff that sets up the second novel. I’ve thought about “could I shorten it?” and I’ve thought “Could I deliver it through flashbacks?” (this is probably my favorite option) and I’ve stumbled with “could I add more to make the first book more of an action-y book? Maybe add another character’s perspective?”
You see, the idea is three books. And there IS important stuff in the first book:
- Protagonist meets the antagonist (doesn’t have a CLUE that the person they meet is evil)
- Protagonist meets love interest (yes, there is a love story pretty strongly woven throughout)
- Magic is set up (wrong but it’s set up so I can break it down later mwhahaha) and explored and a LOT of questions get brought up
- Important places & people are introduced
- Major secondary plot is established (politics)
- Not one but THREE side-stories that will come together as “oh, I didn’t realize that was even important” are started & explored
See how many of them are “started” and “hinted at?” That’s the problem. Unless I write a million-word book (that works well as a trilogy damnit) I start a bunch of stuff KNOWING it’s just filler for the next book.
And it’s important. Like it is REALLY important….
So I have a metric-ton of notes and plots and world-building (hell I drew a MAP) on books 2 & 3 – but I can’t write them yet ’cause maybe it just needs to be one book. Maybe it could be 2 (a duology?) – but it is a terrible 1st book and I know it. So Books 2 & 3 have been rattling around for like 3 years in my head. Re-reading it last weekend reminded me of the problem – and the issue that I am mad that I can’t read the story I want to read all the way to end.