My lack of a game plan was evident. Some chapters rambled while others ended abruptly. Characters were introduced never to be heard from again. In short, I had a lot of work to do.
And work I did. A lot. And so did a lot of wonderful people who helped polish, shape, and suggest it into the form it takes today.
So when I embarked on writing a sequel I was determined to learn from my rookie mistakes. I outlined, I made character bios, I wrote note cards on story points I wanted to cover. I dutifully checked boxes and made sure it was trucking along in the linear fashion I had outlined for it. Everything was going fine until the other night.
The story took a bit of a 90 degree turn from where I thought it was going and instead of fighting it back to the path, I decided to let it meander and see where it would go.
Unexpectedly, and wholly unwittingly, I think I’ve turned my humble little sequel into a trilogy. I groaned inwardly. I wrote a line that quite simply is an end of act two cliffhanger. It sets up the next book beautifully, there is only one problem, there wasn’t supposed to be a next book. Two, two and done. I am already planning out my next series (because as we see planning is going so well with this one…) and getting really excited about starting it, but wanted to finish this one first, and wham! I think I may have just created a lot more work for myself.
I still need to flesh it out and see where this story will go, maybe it won’t be as long as I think and I will be able to just keep my story at two books (albeit one much longer than the other), but I have a sneaking suspicion that my characters aren’t quite done telling their story yet.
So much for outlines.
But it is interesting too to see my story evolve and become a creature and character onto itself. And who knows, maybe the "deepest cut of all" is the one an author makes when she halts her characters before they are ready for it.
Maybe they just have one more story left in them.