Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Writing a series by Barbara Edwards

Going back to go forward is a constant in writing a series. I was lucky when I started my Rhodes End Series to get some good advice about keeping records. I have diligently kept a Book Bible for each novel so I have details about my characters, places, timelines available for reference.

I really thought I had a good handle on information until I started Book Four.

It’s set in Rhodes End. Since I created Rhodes End, I should be able to picture it in my head. And I can. Except for some minor details. Is the library stone or brick and why didn’t I made a note? Which book did I mention it in?

Oh boy. No its okay. I can work with this.

I plan to combine my book bibles into one as I write Book Four. With the way my mind works its easier to work on the fly. As I need info it will go into the new reference.

So when I mention Mel Petersen, the female police officer, from Ancient Awakening, I’ll put her facts into an alphabetical list of characters. Another thing I didn’t do along the way.

Many of the characters from Ancient Blood, like Lily Alban and Cole Benedict, are going to be running around the plot. http://amzn.com/B002TG4NFGThey need their own spot.

I just forwarded the first edits on Ancient Curse to my editor at The Wild Rose Press, Amanda Barnett, so you won’t be familiar with the heroine Rainie, but the hero is one of the series secondary characters, who I’ve given his own story, The Broker.

Here’s a taste from Ancient Curse:
After touring the various collections in his mansion, Thomas Broquette had led her to this flowery bower. Nearby roses filled the air with their sweet scent. She frowned at an ornate sculpture dominating the center of the old-fashioned herb garden. It resembled a sundial but the hour symbols were wrong.
The ancient mosaic tiling decorating the face practically vibrated with violent emotion. She turned from the object with a silent vow to avoid touching any part of its evil surface.
She focused on Thomas Broquette, dragging her attention from the chaotic vibrations.
His white-on-white shirt and sharply pleated black slacks reminded her he’d been a successful businessman.
“The flower-beds were part of Mason’s concept. He was a complicated man. As you’ve seen his other collections fill the place, and I want to dispose of them.” Thomas gestured towards the surroundings.
She studied him closely. Although he was older than her, he was too young to be retired. He affected her the same way as his home—a combination of fascination and dread.
When his hand brushed the elaborately decorated sculpture, Rainie shuddered. The thick stone pedestal crawled with astrological creatures. Instead of numbers the face displayed tortured patterns.
She bit her lip. Something about the elaborately figured faceplate niggled at her memory. She’d have to research it on-line. The dial or gnomon that would indicate the time was missing. She didn’t need to touch the carving to know it had been part of some hideous ritual.
She swallowed her warning. He obviously didn’t feel the dark vibrations oozing from the surface. She eased a step further along the path, but her ability to feel the violent history remained.
“Dating antiques is my specialty. Every collectable is tested, some require a tiny scrapping for advanced chemical tests.” Sweat pooled between her breasts. The fight to hide her anxiety was a losing battle. The headache throbbed in her temples, the usual result of using her talent.
His easy nod indicated she should continue, but his gaze studied her with the interest of a large tiger for potential prey. 
“I’m extremely careful to keep them unmarred.”
She worked to relax while she held his stare. At first she’d thought his eyes a plain brown, but they were rimmed by golden stripes that matched the tiger’s eye stone in his heavy signet ring. 
“While a few may have a verifiable provenance… Oh I could go on for hours about the various methods.” The last thing she wanted was questions about unorthodox methods.
When he dropped his gaze to the heavy manila folder he held, she surreptitiously swiped her forehead with her forearm. Much as she longed to back away, she resisted the urge.
“I’m not questioning your ability,” his gravel-rough tone had grown familiar during his phone calls. Her stomach knotted, but not with fear. His rough male baritone resonated along feminine nerves she’d thought long buried.
Her gaze traveled over his wide forehead, deep-set eyes, and high cheekbones. His hard features weren’t handsome in the classical sense, but attracted her anyway. She ached to touch him like one of the objects she studied to discover what he concealed behind his shadowed regard.

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Jannine Gallant said...

I've kept notes on my series, but it's never enough. There's always some little detail you have to go back to check. Maddening! Best of luck with this, Barbara!

Margo Hoornstra said...

Thanks for the advice. I'm In the process of embarking on a series. Best of luck with yours.

Barbara Edwards said...

it's funny what you DON'T remember. And it can drive me nuts finding it.

Barbara Edwards said...

Hi Margo,
Everyone has a different process. I like this one since its all in one doc. Lots of people use spreadsheets but I don't find that simple.

Unknown said...

OOOHH love the excerpt! Now I'll have more books to add to my TBR pile! Thanks, also, for the series bible suggestions. Very helpful!

Barbara Edwards said...

Thanks Ashantay, Glad you liked it.

Alicia Dean said...

Nice excerpt. Sounds like a great series. And thanks for the tips. I've written the first few books in a handful of series (I have the habit of jumping around before writing more than two, sigh...), and this will definitely come in handy. I forget a lot of details when I go in to write the sequels.