On Writing REVOLUTIONARY
I have loved reading the posts from the REVOLUTIONARY Blog Tour. This was a tough book to write – ending a trilogy is HARD – and I was a little worried about what the reaction to the final book would be. But those who stuck with me through the first two seem to be enjoying the finale. Whew.
So before I get back into my “regular” blog posts, I thought I’d write one on the process of writing REVOLUTIONARY. I won’t give away any spoilers, if you haven’t read it yet. But I will give you a little peek into my brain (be careful, it’s messy!) and how this final book went from concept to novel.
I started out the series with a rough idea of where I wanted it to go. “Rough” is the key word there. I started making changes as soon as I began ANOMALY — those of you who write know that stories and characters tend to take on a life of their own.
But when I got to REVOLUTIONARY, I knew I needed to be more intentional. This was the end of a trilogy. Threads need to come together, ah-ha! moments must be prepared, revelations made. My editor encouraged me to raise the stakes and don’t be afraid to kill people, when necessary.
I took advice from a writer-friend, Shannon Dittemore, who re-read the first two novels in her ANGEL EYES trilogy before beginning the final book. It’s important, she encouraged, to remind yourself what has happened, who the characters -large and small – are and even what places look like. So I re-read the first two, making notes along the way.
Before I began the first draft, I was able to head up to the Thomas Nelson headquarters in Nashville. During that time, I threw some plot ideas around with
the whole editorial team…so much creativity in one room! It was an amazingly fun afternoon. They also gave terrific insight into how I could integrate elements from the other novels into this one to create a greater sense of unity and finality. My editor and I also tossed around some ideas that would lead to one of the big “I did NOT see that coming!” moments in this final book.
Finally, I sat down to write it. It was bittersweet. I found myself slowing at the end, just because I didn’t want it to end! I spent a long time in this world with these characters, and I was sad to be saying goodbye. I also slowed because I had to keep checking the other two books — what did this room look like? What color were that character’s eyes? It was really like writing the ending to a 210,000 word novel than writing the third book in a trilogy. I wanted to make sure the key characters were well developed, that most of the questions raised were answered, that the ending, when it finally came, would feel worth all that time my readers sacrificed to get there. And, above all, I wanted to be sure that I was honoring God with this book and this series.
I finished REVOLUTIONARY a year ago this week. It wasn’t due until August 1st, so I let it sit for a week before going through it one last time. It, of course, went through several more edits. First drafts are never perfect! But the story was complete. I knew what happened to Thalli, Berk, Rhen, and Alex. And I was DYING for everyone else to know, too. And, after a year of waiting…now you know! Or you CAN know.
If you haven’t read it, please do! If you have – would you stop by one of the booksellers’ websites and leave a review? The best way to help an author – besides reading his/her book – is by reviewing it on Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, ChristianBook, etc.
THANK YOU! For reading my books and my blog, for being interested in this post. I appreciate it more than I can say. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to write these books, and I love hearing from those of you who have read them.