The Joys and Perils of a 3-Book Contract

15 11 2015

aaBUGGYMany writers dream of the day they can sign a contract. And a multi-book contract is even better. Or is it?

Having recently signed a 3-book contract for an Amish series, SISTERS & FRIENDS, with only 1 book written and a paragraph blurb for the other two books, I’m thrilled to have another multi-book contract, but…

With Books 2 and 3 only a gleam in my eye when I signed the contract, I’m now struggling to come up with fleshed-out plot lines for two more novels and get both written before my early 2016 deadlines. The stories that seemed so vivid when I wrote my brief descriptions translated well into basic outline form, giving me false hope that they’d flow smoothly onto the page.

Not so.

The romances I envisioned need more ups and downs, the characters aren’t as well-rounded on the page as they were in my imagination, and the exciting emotional and climactic scenes need to be linked together. I have several touching scenes with lots of dead space between that needs to be filled, but with what?

The outline that seemed so promising a few days before NaNo now looks like a skeleton of a tree at the end of winter, devoid of leaves. A few buds have popped up here and there, promising some growth at a later date, but it seems almost impossible that this tree will blossom with spring greenery, let alone lovely ripe fruit.

I keep reminding myself that spring always comes, and those dead-looking trees do burst into new life. Sap rises, buds unfurl, and the starkness is soon only a memory. Here’s hoping the same thing will happen with my bare NaNo branches.
What does your NaNo tree look like?

This?

bbtree1a

Or this?

bbtree2

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6 responses

15 11 2015
Marcia Strykowski

I’m not doing NaNo, but I want to wish you lots of luck–you can bring those outlines to life!

15 11 2015
lje1

Thanks, Marcia!

15 11 2015
kweeda

Every month is NaNoWriMo, so the trees always look different. Though admittedly, it looks a little different to those with deadlines 🙂 Good luck.

16 11 2015
lje1

Very true!

17 11 2015
Katrina Goldsaito

My trees are growing trees! Need pruning 🙂

17 11 2015
lje1

That’s another problem with manuscripts. 🙂 Good luck with it.

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