Third Time’s the Charm – Right?

Alberta prarie farm - Bruce Witzel photo

Disappearing in Plain Sight, The Light Never Lies, Chasing Down the Night – there is something magical about a trilogy – think Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games, the rule of threes, the Holy Trinity. The idea of threes is on my mind as I’ve just released my third novel in the Crater Lake Series. Yippee – a trilogy. That does have a nice ring to it. There is something very satisfying about having brought three full-length novels to completion and launched them into the world.

Write one book and it might simply be that I am a person with one book in me. Write two books and I might have gotten lucky. Write three books and … well … that has to say something. Even if that something only relates to my tenacity.

But whoa! Let’s get back to this whole trilogy thing for a minute. What if I’m not finished with the characters from Crater Lake? If I end up writing a fourth novel, I’m going to wreak havoc with that lovely trilogy thing – ruin the fenestration of my whole edifice. Four novels in a series – the very idea sounds clunky. I could just keep going. Write six books and end up with two trilogies. Twice as much has to be twice as good, right?

You now have had a scary peak into my current thought processes as I worry away at this issue like a dog with a bone. Since you’re already in my thoughts, I’ll share some more. As the third novel evolved, I knew it couldn’t be the last. I was getting used to the idea of letting go of the magical trilogy. In the back of my mind, I had planned one more book to wrap the story up. I’d even storyboarded ideas for that last book. Now, I’m not so sure about ending on book number four.

I’ve taken a lot of care introducing new characters in Chasing Down the Night. There’s Brigit, the feisty Cook and her adorable daughter, Tabby. And what about Nick, the handsome, financially strapped maker of numerous unwise relationship choices? If I move too quickly to end the series, I will short circuit any chance these characters might have to grow and evolve.

How do I deal with solving this pesky dilemma? Work on something else, of course.

I’ve been creating pages of notes for a future novel that will be entitled, The Jennerville Women’s Chamber of Commerce. The story revolves around five women who run businesses in a small town that has wholeheartedly embraced economic diversification to stave off dying away to nothing. The boom and bust cycles of logging had the town headed into decline. The town’s determination to market itself as a kitschy tourist destination has been taken to often hilarious limits. There are a couple of kids, a dog named Dumbledore and a ghost – friendly, of course. Think Comedy of Errors type romance joined to cozy mystery. Should be fun. At the very least, work on this helps me avoid thoughts of how many books it will take to logically end the Crater Lake Series.

Sculpture Square - Bruce Witzel photo