Sunday, February 3, 2019

Thoughts On Writing aTrilogy

Blog Update

Of course I’ve been very slow at writing another blog. Now that I’ve decided to focus on my writing process for the time being, it’s a challenge to reflect on how and why I got started. I’ve made lots of notes on the story as I went along but not really about my thoughts about the structure of the books. Anyway this blog is how I remember starting the trilogy.

Writing Three Books

When I started to write The Tenth Gateway I knew that I wanted to write a trilogy involving the magic game.

Firstly I had come up with the idea of children trapped in a magic game being pursued by an evil magician in one of the writing exercises I completed in The Australian Writer’s Centre online course about writing books for children.

I remembered some of the classic series favourites, for example: Enid Blyton’s stories of the Faraway Tree (lots of magic and fairy tale figures) and the Barnaby Books (lots of mystery and adventure); Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings - I must confess that I've seen the films but haven't yet read the books. A must for 2019.

Some more recent books that I have enjoyed are Emily Rodda’s Three Doors Trilogy. I loved it that if you changed one or more factors in the main story line, a new set of dynamics could unfold

Trilogies by Tolkein and Rodda
How To Do It?

I had never written a children’s book, let alone a trilogy but I had the story in my head and some ideas of what I would need to do.  Here are some of my ideas:

I had to create main characters that would work across three books.

I also had to introduce new characters or magical beings that would develop the story in different directions. 

Although the underlying story was about playing the magic game, the game had to remain a challenge with different pitfalls along the way.

There had to be a valid reason for the children to want to play the game for a second and a third time given it is so dangerous. 

The vocabulary and puzzles had to be at an appropriate level for age 8+ readers with each book adding a bit more complexity and reading challenge. 

Lastly, I had to make it a fun fantasy adventure. A little bit scary and mysterious but good wins out in the end.

The Light at the end of the tunnel....

Upon reflection, I’m amazed that I have actually finished and had published Book 1 (The Tenth Gateway) and Book 2 (The Spy’s Door) and given my inertia over summer, that my first rough draft of Book 3 is almost complete. I’m keeping the working title secret for now, just in case I change it.

I think that coming up with a title that says something about the story and is also enticing is challenging, but also fun to do. But like finding names for the characters finding something not already taken is very hard.

If you have any recommendations for me re trilogies written for children I would love to hear about them.

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