Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Four Stages of "Trilogy Burn" (Anna Staniszewski)

It's been downright steamy in New England this summer, but I've been dealing with a different kind of heat as I start work on the third UnFairy Tale book. I've decided to refer to this particular heat as "trilogy burn." What is this strange phenomenon? Let's break down its various stages.

1. I just wrote Book 2 and now I have to dive into Book 3!
There's nothing that will make you sweat more than turning in a sequel to your editor, taking a deep breath, and then starting work on the next book in the series. It's a messy process that requires a lot of brain power...and a lot of chocolate.

2. I have to wrap things up?
I'm beyond thrilled to have the opportunity to write a trilogy, but figuring out how to bring everything together is a little mind-boggling. There are a lot of expectations involved, enough to require an extra application of deodorant in the morning.

3. It has to be BIGGEST OF ALL!
The truly daunting thing about writing a third book in a series is realizing that the climax needs to be bigger than anything that's come thus far. No pressure, right? Please hold while I go get a frosty drink and give myself brain freeze...

So obviously, there are a lot of sweating opportunities involved in wrapping up a trilogy. But the heat isn't all bad. In fact, "trilogy burn" has one more stage:

4. This is awesome!
I've had the chance to create characters, watch them grow, and lead them through a story that's changed both their lives and mine. If that isn't the kind of heat that warms you to the core, I don't know what is.

Anyone else experiencing "trilogy burn" at the moment? How do you deal with all the crazy levels of heat?

21 comments:

  1. Number 3 is the most daunting part! We make every book we write as big as we can, so to have to top the first book, not once but twice, is a freaky-scary prospect, but I know you'll do it with flair!

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    1. Thanks, Vonna! I think I just have to chant "big, big, big" to myself while I'm writing Book 3. :-)

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  2. Good luck! I wrote a novel and then realized I wrote the 2nd book first.

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    1. Haha, I hate when that happens! At least now you know what comes later in the story, right? :-)

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  3. I've never written a trilogy and I'm so impressed by those who have!

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    1. Same here, Ann! This is my first attempt, and I have even more respect for series writers now that I see how difficult it is.

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  4. I haven't tackled a trilogy. Best of luck to you!!!

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    1. Thanks, Jan! This is my first attempt--fingers crossed!

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  5. I'm working on the developmental edits of book 2 and plan to start the synopsis to book 3 in September. This is my first trilogy, and I have only the sketchiest of ideas of what happens in that final book. But it should be pretty cataclysmic.

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    1. I'm in the exact same boat. Until last week, I had a very vague plan for Book 3. Now I have a somewhat detailed outline, but I have a feeling that will all change once I start drafting... Good luck!

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  6. 'Trilogy Burn' is added to the dictionary...
    I can only imagine what it might be to try to top and then again top yourself.

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    1. Hmm, if you put it that way, it almost sounds like I'm competing with myself. Which, in a way, is true. I hope I win! :-)

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  7. I'm working on Book 3 of a planned 6-book series, and the first is only coming out this year! It's incredibly daunting to think that I need to keep stepping up my game with every book. I'm just glad I have the overall storyline for each one already worked out.

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    1. Wowza, 6 books! That's a whole other type of burn. Maybe "scald" or "singe"? That's great that you have the storyline worked out, though. Good luck!

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    2. I was going with "fourth-degree" myself. :-p

      Thanks for the well-wishes!

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  8. WOW!!!! I'm impressed. And chocolate helps everything accept cellulite, right?

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    1. Hehe, I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that chocolate helps get rid of cellulite... :-)

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  9. I know nothing about trilogy burn, but I am enjoying reading the first in your trilogy this week. ^_^

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    1. Oh yay, I'm so glad you're enjoying it! :-) Hearing nice things from readers definitely help ease some of the burn. :-)

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  10. I've never written a trilogy, but am in awe of those who do. It's got to require SUCH stamina!

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  11. You can do it! I loved the chance to pull everything together and wrap up every plot thread and character arc and take every little nuance and give it final purpose. But the responsibility felt huge. And writing book 3 of a complex trilogy with a different editor (or two) for each book made it a daunting task. But how exciting to have the opportunity. A white board helped. As does a 'bible' of all the tiny to large details of characters, events, settings, clues, objects, outfits... Really, really helps.

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