A few weeks ago I finished writing the second book in my Told You Series. It’s always exhilarating to bring the crescendo to a final resonating note. The arc is complete, the suspense resolved, a satisfying denouement for the characters with hope for their future. In writing, composing, creating art in any form, there’s a structure—maybe not planned in advance but there in the essence of the whole—that makes it complete.
As a novelist, I delight in the process, the choosing and pacing and rhythm of each word, from the start of a story to the end. That doesn’t mean it’s without effort, without time, without myriad renderings to do justice to the gift planted in my heart before I even came to be. So when I reached the end of Told You Twice, I rejoiced. There it is, I thought. There it is.
Of course I step away, and give those one hundred fourteen thousand words time. I gather feedback, get the edits, and revisit and polish and revise. But the thing is whole, the story complete. So what happens when I want more, when I sense a continuation with these same characters? Maybe not a full length novel, but a fresh conflict, a further development of their relationship, digging deeper into things that formed them, into spiritual and emotional truths.
Free-spirit creator that I am, I start to write. In fact I can barely keep up as new ideas pour out. A novella maybe. Twice Take Two. Number 2.5 in the series. This feels right. It’s exciting. But then doubt creeps in, doubt fed by the knowledge that a whole segment of the population will cry foul!
Like the reviewers who really enjoyed my historical series but could not understand why it was three books when they should have only had to buy one. Never mind that each book was 400+ pages, that it took nine months of research, writing, revisions, and promotion to launch each one. The reviewers’ conclusion: “The author just wants more money.”
Ah, filthy lucre.
Suddenly, I don’t know. I wanted to give my wonderful readers who go through the suspense of Told You Twice an encore—it is Bo Corrigan. And, oh, does he deserve one.
The outcry. Like piranhas or flesh eating bacteria, there are those who feed on people’s gifts and efforts, and think they have a right to them at no cost to themselves. I’m not ranting. Truly. I’m asking myself if it’s worth the heartache.
Then, I look at my document and know that story will happen. I can’t refuse it. And maybe I’ll put it out there in the shark infested waters, because…well…it’s why I’m here, fulfilling a destiny and a calling, for the praise and glory of the Creator, and of the Savior who bore our afflictions, and of the Holy Spirit who breathes life into every word.