One more piece of the puzzle and I’ll be ready to start working on the arcs for the first trilogy.
No, really! That’s the plan! This time for sure!
Why now? What’s changed since I wrote my last novels?* Well, my wife introduced me to Sterling & Stone. If you have any interest in self-publishing, go check out their site. Right now. I won’t mind! I’ll wait.
They’re busily perfecting the art of self-publishing high-quality works in a number of genres. Even better (as if that accomplish weren’t enough, which it is!), they share what they’ve learned. Watching their videos and listening to their podcasts is an investment that I have no doubt will pay off. I now have an idea of where to start when it comes time to publish the first book. That is to say, when I finish writing the first book.
I’ve reviewed my writing skills, and I found I have a gap. I know how to write sentences. My character development will improve over time. Thumbs up to my dialogue! But I don’t know how to weave a compelling story. I gave myself some homework: find a popular, self-published book on Amazon and figure out why it was popular. Here’s what I chose:
I could nit-pick the book — I hate similes, and I don’t think the writer, A. G. Riddle, ever met a simile he didn’t like. But you know what? I had a hard time putting it down. I was disappointed when it ended. Apparently, I’m not alone. Amazon says the trilogy (which includes The Atlantis Plague and The Atlantis World) has sold over 2 million copies.
Let that number — that astonishing accomplishment — sink in for a moment.
My homework was to figure out why that trilogy has sold 2 million copies — despite me not liking its similes.
I think I found the key in Larry Brooks’ book called Story Engineering:
He does an outstanding job of covering all aspects of writing novels, but his chapter on plot blew me away. He laid out, in clear and concise terms, what a successful plot should look like. He didn’t dictate an inflexible set of rules: he pointed out a clear set of guidelines that define what a successful novel’s plot should look like.
I think this is the last piece I need before starting the first trilogy.
How do I know that’s the last piece? I don’t. Not yet, at least. But I know this: I can’t tolerate any more excuses. My daughter’s out of college. I’m not getting younger (quite the contrary!). It’s time to put up or shut up; do or do not; spread my wings and fly; and <insert your favorite cliche here>.
As I work on the material, I’ll share bits and pieces here in the hopes you’ll see something interesting. Feel free to comment!
Now, time to get writing!
* Are you ready for this? I wrote my last novel over 30 years ago. 30 years! That’s like, a lot of time. It took me that long to exhaust my reservoir of excuses! It’s hard to believe that it’s been 30 years since Olympia orbited the planets of Sirius, or the Resolution was lost…