The first book, Insatiable, was released on June 8, 2010, and became an instant New York Times bestseller. This series is a modern retelling of Bram Stoker's Dracula, but the main character, Meena Harper, can foretell people's death. She's being forced by the television show for which she works to write vampires into the plot due to their popularity. Meena, however, hates vampires (she doesn't believe in them, and doesn't like how they always go after and kill girls). This complicates things when she finds out from Alaric Wulf, a demon-hunter with a secret unit of the Vatican called the Palatine Guard, that vampires are attacking girls all over her native New York City, and that her new boyfriend might be one of them: Lucien Antonescu, Dracula's son, the Prince of Darkness. A sequel to Insatiable called Overbite was released on July 5, 2011.
In this series, Lucien (vampire) could shape shift into a dragon.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! The cost of magic use in my "Fantasy Universe."
I have not figured out everything, but Asheri is burning 4.4 times the energy using the "glamor/illusion" compared to what she would use when not using magic!
So instead of burning 83 calories per hour (regular activity), she is consuming an additional 365.2 calories per hour for her magic spell to cover a ten-foot circle. Her energy drinks will need to add almost 4,000 extra calories to her system for her to keep up the illusion for 10 hours.
I think I'll make a spreadsheet for magic in my fantasy universe.
This just gave me an idea. Some authors like to scrapbook, or create collages ... I just got the idea of creating a board for building and creating stories. Like the ones I've seen for some role-playing games.
I might play around with that later on. ... hmm ... One board per book/story/series? Or use one board and have each book/story be a category? Keep the board/s private? Delete the board/s once the book/story/series is finished Or open up some of the forums for fans once the book/story/series is published?
Now, see, I think the category idea would work much better with sub-boards. So, I'd probably go with one board per book/story, and have a series as categories/forums on one board.
This idea probably wouldn't work for everyone ... just like scrapbooking and collaging isn't for everyone. But as someone who has created boards on various sites, this idea intrigues me. Although, it would be nice if there was another site like Photobucket for images ... or a board/forum with unlimited image uploading. (I think I'm about to talk myself out of this idea. )
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! I like the idea of creating a scrapbook on Runboard. I'd do one board for everything and then have a catory for each story. Keep it all together - because sometimes, things cross over from one story into another.
Rick: I like that the house has a solar panel roof. It does look rather small...
I like the idea of creating a scrapbook on Runboard. I'd do one board for everything and then have a catory for each story. Keep it all together - because sometimes, things cross over from one story into another.
Could probably do this on your computer or on a zip drive or external harddrive. But putting it all on a message board intrigues me as well.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! I just found this video, and am in the middle of watching it. Wanted to share here in case it interests you.
I've only see a couple of minutes of it so far, but I'm not so sure I completely agree with him. On the one hand, I've read stories that went on and on for books and books, and I just wanted it to finally end ... forever. (Forgot the series.) But, I'm also currently reading a book series that is still going on, and will continue to go on for a few more books. (Outlander) ... ... So, I'm figuring it all comes down to whether or not its a good story. Because I wish the 'Twilight' books were just as thick and as ongoing as the 'Outlander' books.
In some cases, I bought all the books in the series, or as many as were available, and read them one after the other, and perhaps I should have read other books inbetween? But, I read all 8 'Outlander' books one after the other, and when I got to the end of book 8 I was devastated that book 9 won't be out for years and years. So, again, I think it depends on how great a story it is, and how great the characters are.
Of course, each book has to have a beginning, middle, and end ... and I think 3/4 books is the most any 'one' story should have before coming to a conclusion. However, our lives are filled with conclusions and new beginnings, so a conclusion doesn't necessarily mean the end of stories for those characters. Or for other parts of that same world.
Some writers have many trilogies set within the same world ... even containing the same set of characters. And Amazon has put out 'episodes' and 'seasons/series' from authors. So, each trilogy could be a 'season?' Or each book a 'season?'
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! I finished watching that video. It does make sense to make sure to connect all books and trilogies from the same world, and that have the same characters, together. Something I hope I remember.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! There is something I noticed about many trilogies, but that might be the result of pressure - publishers demanding trilogies and making authors come up with *anything* to put in them.
Which means that often book 2 and book 3 will be less tight, less interesting and less fun. I've also noticed that book 2 tends to sag... dragging along to set up everything for book 3 that's supposed to bring on the glorious finale.
On the other hand, it is much, much easier to market a series, especially as readers invest in characters and worlds, and usually want to continue with them.
So maybe writing a trilogy requires good planning from book 1 onwards in order to avoid those problems.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! Yeah. Same with TV shows. Sometimes they drag on far longer than they should have. A story should only be as long as needed to tell it. Some stories are massive and need more than one book to tell it, but others are just a drab, a flash, a short story, a novelette, a novella, or just a novel.
The Twilight Saga was only going to be two books, but the publishers asked for a trilogy. Once Stephenie Meyer started fleshing out the story, she ended up writing four books instead. So, sometimes more than three books are needed. A writer should let the story dictate how long it should be, and then stop there without forcing it to be more than it is.
If a writer wants to continue with that world, they should create a new situation, or create new characters within that world to start a new journey. I have almost all of the stand-alone books that are all set within the same world. They are called: The Chicago Stars Series. So, perhaps a trilogy doesn't have to be one continuous story ... they can just be individual 'stand-alone' books that are all within the same world.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! Yes, they can be loosely connected.
The German novel project I was in (which sadly ended up with an entirely incompetent publisher) was such a "series" of thrillers. It had a recurring side character and was set in Germany around the 1820s. Everything else was different, the setting, the MCs, the "crime"... even the authors.
It's quite possible to market this as a series, because there is a connecting thread. It's even easier to do so if they are all in the same fantasy universe. And sometimes, it can be quite refreshing to see different places and times in that universe.
(Just look at Pern! Anne had about 3,000 years to play around in, and it all started with a little short story...)
It's why I created the tag-line of the "Cloud Lands". It identifies all my stories set in that word.
I discovered someone using someone else's work in their own book, and I contacted the original author to let him know. The author had already seen it, but thanked me for looking out for him. He said that other author had put his 'Snowflake Method' in their own terms, and therefore no real copyright conflict, and that the other author didn't seem to be making very much money off of it anyways.
When doing a search for "The Snowflake Method," I discovered this:
I bought this book. and started reading it. It says all scenes need to be a story, with a beginning, a middle, and end. Each scene needs to stand alone as a story.
And it had me thinking of how to create a novel from a collection of drabbles, flash fiction, mini-sagas, short stories, etc. It's kind of a cool idea. And would fit into the 'episodes/seasons' discussion I had discussed earlier. Think of each scene as a film clip in a movie or TV show. (I don't have the idea fleshed out yet. My brain is mulling it around.)
It also gave me the idea of taking a number of 'standalone' scenes from a story, and adding them into a collection of short works for an eBook. (Not any scenes that give away too much about the book/story it came from. More like an eBook of excerpts.) And then noting which book/s each scene came from ... and then adding a few chapters from those works to the back of the eBook collection.
After all ... short works are scenes from a larger story, are they not? The rest of the story just isn't needed or wanted to complete the short work. (At the time it was created/published.)
I haven't read very far into the book yet. Plus, I don't want to go into more detail, since it is someone else's work. It's giving me much to think about.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! In my "Beyond the Window" story I had to create a new magic system to help define my fantasy world. Now, in the second part of the story, I have formed a God to help determine the scope of the fantasy universe as it relates to my characters.
The idea is to have consistency in a fantasy world with multiple sentient beings.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! I had a nightmare "dream sequence pop into my head today. At first, I thought it was supposed to be a scene in "First Transit" that I had somehow left out of the story. Then it occurred to me that I was wrong! The dream is the introduction of a character who was on board the PLS Exodus but whose story wasn't essential in the first book. Now some of it will be revealed in "Transit Promises" which makes me very happy. I find it amazing how powerful a dream can be in moving a story forward.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! I believe the first book should have a mention or two of this character ... just something to hint at what will come of it in book two. It can be in passing. It can be minor. But readers should be aware of this character. That can wait until you're done with book two. By then you'll have it all worked out and can figure out where and when this character should show up in book one. What the circumstances may be, etc.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! Yeah. I agree. Every book in the series should be done before publishing them. Unless they're a standalone book in a series of books set in one world ... no one connected to the other.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! Ideally, yes.
In reality, that's not always possible. Publishers usually don't sign up an author for a new series. And once it does well, they might ask the author to expand it...
In self-publishing, it's much easier, and that's why I'm aiming for it with the Zell series. But those books will have been in the works for three years... I can only do that because I'm not earning my income through my books.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! Yeah. I was thinking of Indie-Publishing. Traditional Publishers would never wait that long to make money off of their products. (And then, some write a series with more than three or four books, so just how many books in a series should be written before putting book one out into the world? Surely the writer wouldn't have to insert 'hints' that far back? ... ... ... So, maybe publish the first book once book three is in its final draft, and book four is being started? Publish book two/Start book five? Publish book three/Start book six?)
... hmm ...
... hmm ...
I got to thinking about the "Rule of Three" today. Isn't it set up for a three-act structure? And the middle is twice the size of Acts One & Two ... ... some use: Act I, Act IIa, Act IIb, and Act III when outlining their works. And I know an author who uses a four-act structure ... so shouldn't it be the "Rule of Four" instead? *scratches-head*
Act II has two conflicts, if using a three act structure. So, you have four conflicts, the last one being the climax of the story. Therefore, I don't see why there shouldn't be a "Rule of Four." I thought I'd share this new idea, and see how others felt about it.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! I'm not planning my books, beyond having a rather vague plan for what is going to happen. Part of the joy ofwriting is figuring out what exactly happens.
Now that I know the final chapteres for Zell it's getting hard to enjoy writing the rest - it's getting boring. I know how the story will end.
But since I don't even really plan my books according to any of those 3-5 act structures, I don't plan a series that way, either. I write the tale. And yes, I often know some of the underlying arcs, the ones that work on the series level. So maybe this is just my subconscious working - what I like to call writer brain - that has absorbed so many stories that I employ those structures without conscious thought.
Thing is... I like trilogies. But it's happening to me time and again that I end up with too much tale for the third book, and I need to split it. Yes, that is a typical pantser problem.
I do put in the work to make each book stand on its own, though, as well as be a working part in a series.
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! If I can manage to reach equilibrium on my emotions today, I am going to try and add at least a passing comment or two in "First Transit" to set up the dream sequence in "Transit Promises." I cannot believe the amount of time that has gone by without touching any of my projects. (stopping myself here, jeez)
Re: Inspiration - that can be everything! I do that all the time. I'll be working on a project and Mom's health, or cleaning out her house, would take me away for a short while, and when I finally get myself back into the project I'd check the date of when I last worked on it and I couldn't believe how much time that got away from me. And I wonder, what took me so long to get back to it. It's kind of like, "out of sight out of mind." I'd gotten out of the habit of thinking about it, and by the time I finally did remember it, a lot of time had passed. I really hate life distractions sometimes.