When I wrote The Relics of Nanthara, I knew right away it would be a big undertaking. Originally, I figured on it being around five books. Thank God it wasn’t. But I already had much of the story laid out in my head. Getting it to paper was the task. In beginning the story, I had everything worked out up to the end of the second book. Afterwards, only a blank existed.
Most of the time, authors have a plan, and stick to it. Regardless of your writing style, your voice, or how you conjure the writing juices to flow, your successive novels should carry on like the chapters contained within each individual book. That is, you should have a great read and end it with readers biting at the bit to get the next book. One thing I learned is not to leave too many things, if any, unanswered in a novel. To think folks will get the next book and discover answers to their questions is a big mistake. Who is to say the reader who purchased the first novel will buy the second? There are no promises. There must be closure to many key questions and facts as if you are writing only one book.
In reading the previous paragraph, you may be thinking “I can’t do that. I want to keep people guessing. You know, build drama!” You can build plenty of drama with your writing and the characters you create. Bringing them to life by their dialogue and actions will help draw readers in and keep them pasted onto the pages effortlessly.
The Relics of Nanthara grew, believe it or not, out of an old Dungeons & Dragons game I ran years ago. When the game was finished, right around the Book 2 point, I always thought it would make a good book. Then one day…ta-da!
In relation to the game, I never “got” to Book 3. I did freak out in trying to write the third novel, but the characters and the previous books brought out the story. It had a natural flow to it. Your writing and the storyline should carry a natural, smooth flow also. Bogging it down with useless facts is like speeding along until you hit a mud pit—same effect.
I have submitted a fourth novel as part of a sci-fi series where I plan on adding future installments. How? The first story opened a myriad of ideas on where I could go. So, I jot down notes and make plans for later novels.
Currently, I am writing my fifth fantasy novel as part of another Nantharan trilogy. Yeah, I know. I didn’t figure on writing another trilogy. But as I stated before, the storyline guides me in thought, thought and imagination transfers to paper/screen, transferred thoughts equals book. I can already see a fair amount of the second book in my head and have a few ideas for book 3. As I’ve stated before, everything should flow. Sit back, let the story and its characters carry you, and prepare to enjoy the ride.