Up Hill, Both Ways.

Remember when your grandparents (or possibly parents) complained about when they were kids, they had to trudge 5 miles through the waist high snow to get to school and back, “up hill, both ways”? Sometimes, that’s how it feels, writing a series.

Like you, I assumed it would get easier as I went along, but that has not proven to be the case. It’s harder.

Every book introduces new characters that help to drive the plot of that particular book. Those characters need descriptions and back stories, and depending on how their roles evolve, they may or may not come back in a later book. That’s work.

The core characters each evolve differently with extraneous factors that round out the series itself. Simultaneously, they are also driving the present book plot with the above introduced characters. That’s more work.

A character driven story still has to be a story. There still has to be a central theme, and in my book there are sub plots that act as catalysts for that theme and literally drive the point home. What’s the point? What are the motivations? Why is the story taking the reader down these paths, and how do they come together? Yep, more work.

Because I chose to write a character driven romantic suspense series, there is a lot of research required to make Dairyland Murder’s universe believable to the reader. There’s history, geography, language, forensics, culture studies, current events, technology, civics, even a little botany now and then. I like to think my books are short but dense with information presented in a way that is entertaining but still makes the reader think.

So, while I enjoy writing the books, and I feel validated knowing that I have fans who really enjoy reading them, I still have to make myself sit down and bring it all together. Metaphorically speaking, I appreciate the privilege of going to school, but it’s still five miles through the waist high snow. And it’s still up hill, both ways.


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