What to do next?

Now that I’m back in the writing game, I have a few decisions to make. I’m still (yes, still) finishing off editing on my first book, and I’m anticipating that it will be finished by mid-November. But at the same time – ambitious I know – I’m going to try to work on other projects. I have a couple of weeks of holiday coming up and so I have more time to focus on writing away from my day job.

But this raises a couple of questions about what to work on next. Taking the editing with me isn’t practical so I have two options – continue with my third novel, which is currently sitting at just under 15,000 words but needs some detailed planning before I continue as I’ve spent so much time away from it, or to start on something completely new.

The lure of starting a brand new project is exciting, particularly as someone suggested that I make the two main characters in Book One into series characters. This was not my original plan and so Books Two and Three are also stand alones albeit set in the same town and featuring the same police detectives, but with a different protagonist each time. If I stick with my initial plan then the sensible thing to do is to continue with Book Three.

When I decide to publish, it would make sense that if I’m making the two main characters into series characters that I have a number of books to start the series before I start to do stand alones. However, I cannot think of how to turn Books Two and Three into part of the series as neither story would suit having the two series characters as protagonists – or fit in anywhere without it feeling contrived.

So, as you can see, some tough decisions.

What would you do? Should I continue or start with a completely new idea? Answers in the comment section below as I definitely need some help!

4 thoughts on “What to do next?

Add yours

  1. I understand how tempting it is to start something new & to finish editing. However, if you really want the first book finished I wouldn’t start something new. I get what you’re saying about holiday and it being impractical to do.your editing then, on which case could you not have a rest? I find it’s really important to keep a book ‘world’ in my head whole editing and if you are writing or planning something else, that world dissipates. On holiday you could maybe read your MS through and make notes on a pad if you don’t want to take a laptop with you? It’s up to you, obviously, but you’ve asked for opinions. I would definitely stick with this first book until it’s completely finished.

  2. I don’t see an issue with a series being set around a particular place as opposed to a particular set of characters. Sophie Hannah’s Little Face was written from the perspective of a mother whose child had been swapped with another. The detectives in this seemed minor players, and the story focused on the woman. The next novel (can’t remember the name) did the same thing – different victim (and main focus of the book) but same detectives, who again, were not the focus of the book.

    Prior to the standalones she has been writing for the last few years, Meg Gardiner has two series, featuring Evan Delaney in the first, and Jo Beckett in the second. In that second series, characters from the Evan series crop up every so often, making it clear that those worlds are linked (and giving fans a thrill when a ‘familiar friend’ crops up.

    With that in mind, I’d continue with book 3, and make the series focus the place, and not the people. It gives you the opportunity to bring back the same people from book 1, if only in minor supporting roles.

    I’m reading ‘Take Off Your Pants’ by Libbie Hawker (it’s not what you think!). Susi Holliday recommended it as it really helped her get her second book written. I’m not that far through it, but it is an outlining method that helps focus on the story, and lets you write a book quickly.

    I’ll be interested to hear what you decide!

  3. I agree with Vicky about getting book one finished but if you really have to leave it then I’d stick with what you’re doing not start a new project. New projects are always like shiny new toys, always more appealing than the hard work of the current wip. I’m wishfully thinking about writing up the outline to another novel but I won’t because I have to complete what I’m working on now. As for the stories themselves and what you should do and who you should have in them, only you know your characters and the outlines, the strengths and weaknesses, well enough to make that decision, but do what feels right for you and the one that makes the stronger book. Good luck!

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