Thursday, June 20, 2013

Jocelyn Adams, Author of Rise of the Magi, Talks about Writing a Trilogy

Rise of the Magi

Writing a novel is a feat all on its own, but writing a trilogy is a much trickier beast.  In a standalone novel, there’s usually one main storyline, a protagonist, antagonist and a few supporting characters.  It has a beginning, middle and an end where the story builds to a climax,
then weaves together to the finish.

In a trilogy, not only does each book have the beginning, middle and ending, but so does the trilogy itself.  Book one introduces the characters and the primary conflict just like a standalone, but it has an additional task of setting up for book two.

Book two is trickier still, as it needs to recap book one enough to remind the reader what happened, but not enough to make them feel like they’re reading it again, and also setting up for book three.  Book three is the hardest of them all.  The first two have been weaving storylines like crazy, putting the characters through their paces, and now all of those arcs have to be woven back together.

Easy peasy, right?  Not.

I’ve made it sound much simpler than it actually is.  I bet I ripped out the last quarter of Rise of the Magi no fewer than three times before I finally got it right, at least 15,000 words each time.  It became so complicated, with so many characters introduced over the series, so many details to tie up, I overwhelmed myself.  In the end, though, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

I do have one piece of advice for anyone contemplating writing a trilogy. My biggest regret with the Lila Gray series was that I queried book one before I’d finished the trilogy.  When it was accepted sooner than I expected, it put a lot of pressure on me to get it all finished quickly in
case I needed to change any details in book one.

What’s your favorite trilogy?

In a battle of wills, who is strongest? The one who hates or the one who loves?

In a test of faith, who will fight the hardest? The one who has everything to lose or the one who believes only in herself?

For Lila Gray, the answer is both. For the Magi, the questions are pointless since they can’t lose, and they’ve been waiting since before Lila’s birth for this one moment. Lila only needs to find them to understand her entire purpose in life. This time, though, instead of protecting her people, Lila may be leading them all, including her unborn child and the man she loves, to their deaths — and not by accident.

In the ultimate trial of heart and soul, and the conclusion to the Lila Gray series, Lila will learn that the greatest weapon of war is herself, with one ultimate unknown. For which side will she fight?


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Jocelyn Adams grew up on a cattle farm in Lakefield and has remained a resident of Southern Ontario her entire life, most recently in Muskoka. She has worked as a computer geek, a stable hand, a secretary, and spent most of her childhood buried up to the waist in an old car or tractor engine with her mechanically inclined dad. But mostly, she's a dreamer with a vivid imagination and a love for fantasy (and a closet romantic — shhh!). When she isn't shooting her compound bow in competition or writing, she hangs out with her husband and young daughter at their little house in the woods.

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1 comment:

Jocelyn Adams said...

Thanks so much for hosting a stop on my tour. Cheers!