Legends of Green Isle is my baby. Six books with the possibility of three additional ones which tell the back story of Green Isle, has been in the process since 2003. I’m amazed at how people can generate books within a few short months. I guess that’s why I’m blogging about Legends today, because it’s taking me quite a while to complete these. I thought I could do the same thing, write them out in a few years, but reality set in as I was creating the outlines, the characters, the world, the story itself. It’s not that easy.
Preparing this series, I realized that weaving the story throughout six books requires an in-depth examination of the tale as I completed the outlines themselves. I was going to need to make sure that what I was writing in book two concurs with book one and also book six. For example, a key that is silver in book one doesn’t turn into a gold one by book five. (Haha).
I also got back the first word from my editor after I sent her the first fifteen chapters of Book Two – “The Mirror Sliver.” Our May release had to be pushed off as she requested that I rewrite and add some chapters in the beginning to make the story flow from book one to book two.
Outlining has been a difficult part of the process for me. I’m not an outliner normally, I shoot from the hip. Yet, with this series, I found that NOT creating an outline will lead me down a path I don’t wish to go, and that would be, forgetting some important detail from a previous book that needs to be brought out in one of the next books. For example, a haunted portrait in book one, mentioned briefly, will have a dramatic effect in book three. Can’t forget those types of detail, so an outline must be created. (It was a most daunting task.) My boyfriend Kevin has to listen to me sometimes talk about the story, and is in amazement that I have all of it up in my head. (I had a most horrid thought a while ago that if I perished before the series was done who would complete it since all of it was in my head. Another reason I created the outlines and notes on characters. Perhaps one of my children would pick up the pieces and finish it.)
Creating an adventure that would appeal to young adults was also another hurtle. I stopped reading all young adult books because I didn’t want my story to be influenced by any other author’s creative stories. (i.e. Harry Potter) Music seemed to inspire me though, so I would listen to the Lord of the Rings albums.
So what can you expect as an author wishing to create a long series of Young Adult Fantasy books? Lots of outlining, pre-planning, character creation (write them down and address their personalities), the world in which they live (helpful is you design a map and the important places for your own viewpoint), and a good editor who can see where the story is supposed to go and get it there. (Thanks Jessica Keaton!)
I can honestly say, never hurry a great idea, it must be simmered and stirred.