The downside to writing a trilogy is figuring out what comes next. I’ve had one writer suggest I burn it all down and rewrite everything because he finds regular humans a bit too boring as main characters. Well meaning advice, but not really good advice for what I’m working on.
The biggest problem with the Amargosa Trilogy is not so much how it ends. I know in broad strokes how it ends. The trouble is getting there. There are a lot of ideas and concepts that come up not just as you write the first installment but as you write other work in the interim. What makes it worse for me is that my interim work has been novellas set elsewhere in the Compact Universe. Broken Skies and the two unpublished follow ups reveal a lot about the Gelt, the Compact, and even JT Austin. That confuses matters more than when it was just The Children of Amargosa.
But I’ve narrowed it down. Editing notes from the original have helped me to focus the POV characters. I may add a storyline from Kray’s POV to amp up tension and broaden the story as Book III looks to be a sprawling epic unto itself. After all, I sent him up a ventilation shaft leaving our protags worried. What are they worried about? And what is that slippery bastard up to?
I did a rough outline, but a chapter outline will allow me to not just write but dictate. Quickly. One of the problems with writing a novel is that authors tend to get bogged down in a novel’s middle. Act II Hell is how one writer put it to me. A lot of it has to do with a novel being a marathon not a sprint. And having run a 22 mile workout, I can tell you it stops being fun after about mile 7. I’ve only run two half marathons, but that last mile is AWESOME! I want dictation to force me to get through that saggy middle quickly.
I hope to have the outline done by this weekend. But when do I start writing?