As I sit here going through the latest chapter in the next installment of The Three Hearts Trilogy, I thought I would take a bit to explain my writing process and why I write three act trilogies. I don’t think it is a particularly unique way of going about it, and I’m sure other authors go through similar exercises.
Freedom to change things is the biggest reason behind this method. I like confirming with beta readers that I’m hitting the points I’m trying to convey. Going step by step through one smaller portion instead of some giant 80K+ novel all at once makes this manageable for all involved. Ideas hit me at all different times, but once it is published, I can’t really go back and make drastic changes to the plot or maybe focus on something a little bit more.
One writing style element I hope people enjoy is weaving in subtle subplots along with the heavy use of symbolism. In the case of Three Hearts, even the names of the characters are symbolic.
There is definitely a line as to when something can be too subtle, and I have to ground my writing a few notches. I’ll think something is plain as day, but a beta reader will give completely different feedback, and I know I have to revisit it again in a later book to wrap that up without sounding repetitive.
Trilogies keep me writing and tightly focused on the story itself. Even though I get feedback on what needs a little more depth, I still have to figure out how to incorporate that into the overall story and the relationships in them so that it makes sense when you read it.
I’m also averse to people giving away endings to complex stories in reviews. I know it will happen regardless, and I’m simply delaying the inevitable. But there is nothing like that satisfaction you get when something clicks in your mind, you go back and re-read something in an earlier book, and you solve the puzzle. If I can preserve that just a little longer for someone, then I’m going to do my best to keep it special for that one person. Although many people are simply looking for a quick sexy read that I try to give them without too much extraneous fluff, there are some fairly complex concepts breadcrumbed throughout the stories for those who want a more engaging experience. I’m here to provide entertainment via mental stimulation for not just myself, but for others.
Some authors thrive on reviews and shelf adds. I appreciate them, but I tend to enjoy reading discussions about themes and speculation significantly more. I think that is probably the biggest compliment someone can give an author. If you are interested in that type of activity, I set up a Pinterest account to stash some clues and to act as a repository for inspiration. Seeing if anyone picks up on them is fun because I enjoy it when other authors do the same thing. It gives more interactive life to a plain book, and inspires me as well.
This writing system keeps me publishing regularly. I can’t let too much time go by; one month would turn into two months, and so on. I have the attention span of a gnat, and the greatest urge I have to fight is focusing on another story instead of working on Three Hearts. Currently in my master Scrivener project file, there are 18 outlines for full length eroms and women’s fiction stories. Six of those are half-completed first drafts. I could go on like that for years if I didn’t stop, finalize, and publish.
Trilogies also give me a sense of finality when I complete them. There won’t be any more installments beyond the three. If there is a demand for a prequel or something, then I might revisit the series, but I’d really think things through for a while before making a decision on it. I think I struggle with how to make a prequel interesting: would people really want to read 20K words on Matt and Rose’s text messages and phone conversations? Isn’t it a better idea to bring the past to life in a scene or two more integral to the storyline itself?
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the read.