It Seemed a Good Idea at the Time

- by Eileen Dreyer

I should know better. I do, actually. I’ve long since made it a point not to write a series. I always thought it was just because I was impatient. I mean, I’m an old trauma nurse. We bore easily. So I figured, ‘when I’m finished with this book, I’m ready to meet somebody new.’

I’ve done a few connected series, the most memorable for me being Jake’s Way. A family of four the morphed into a second series, Daughters of Mab. But it wasn’t heavily interconnected, if you know what I mean. It was just each person’s story, with the rest of the characters coming and going as I needed them. No real overarcing  story line. Like, say, a plot to take over the British throne.

Yeah. You guessed it. I’ve gone and drunk the series Koolaid. I not only have an overarcing suspense plot line, but as I finish my first historical romance trilogy, I realize it isn’t going to be a trilogy after all. It’s going to be…a series. There are more than three Drake’s Rakes, after all. There can be innumerable nefarious spies with their eyes on the crown. And somehow I talked myself into connecting all of them. Sigh.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my characters. I love my stories(well, except for the parts where I have to lay down clues, pick up clues and evaluate clues. But that’s the part I hate in any suspense). I love the historical research, and even more, the geographical research (for NEVER A GENTLEMAN I got to go to India. For EVER THE TEMPTRESS and one of the as-yet unnamed books to follow the trilogy, I got to stroll Italy and ride the Grand Canal of Venice). I love the action scenes.

Then, you ask, what’s wrong? Easy. Organization. At this point, anybody who knows me well has begun laughing uproariously. They know that the words organization and Eileen never go into the same sentence. I’ve tried wipe-off boards. I’ve cut out dozens of pictures and put together a 3 ring binder of information on the characters, settings, plots. And I still feel as if I’m floating around with all of that information in a flooded basement.

I don’t suppose anybody wants to offer to do a program at national on how a right-brain person with ADD can organize a series in a way that makes sense to her (and her editor)? I can guarantee at least one attendee. I’ll even bring my highlighters, my wipe-off board, my pictures and my 3 ring binder. And if I don’t get there on my own, I know my editor will be happy to hogtie me and push me there on a luggage cart. Otherwise, I”m afraid I’ll need waterwings and a snorkle to get this stuff done.

2 comments

  1. I know what you mean about keeping track of all the details of a world or cast of characters from book to book! I find wikis useful to keep it all straight, like having your own personal Wikipedia. I’ve used PBworks.com – you can set up a free wiki and throw all your notes into it. There are other similar sites. For my Jason Cosmo fantasy series I have jasoncosmo.pbwiki.com which only I can edit, though anyone can read it as a reference. For other works in progress, I have wikis set to private. Serves as a useful notebook — and I can access it via the web from anywhere I happen to be.

  2. Dan–thanks. I’m definitely looking into that.