Photo by Esra Afşar
Writing one book is already a brain-numbing challenge. Writing two is even tougher. But writing a trilogy? That’s where the real gold and struggles lie.
The principal reason book lovers have continuously consumed novels, especially fictional ones, is to escape. Literature as a means of escapism has long been an established benefit for readers. This is why every fictional novel authors create is exhaustively crafted. They ensure it occurs within a believable world filled with relatable and impactful characters for readers to have a realistic experience. Readers want to be a part of an adventure, and authors ensure to provide and satisfy this demand.
But why should they stop at creating only one adventure?
Going Beyond One Novel
Kenneth Sousa is one among numerous authors who dabbled into writing novels. Yet, instead of stopping at one, he has written a trilogy adventure books of Man-Dar of Atlantis.
What started as a humble plot for a single fictional novel expanded into this beautiful and exciting book filled with the adventures of one man, Manny Silva. If there’s one word to describe Kenneth’s books, it would undoubtedly be well-written. Although the fictional world and the whole series have been divided into three, the trilogy cleanly unfolded the story until its ending. The author takes his readers to another dimension, following the character from living everyday life to flying an airship and rescuing a barbarian princess. From the beginning until its last chapter, Kenneth stuck to creating one smooth and solid adventure for his readers to enjoy.
Almost every author might have considered writing a trilogy or a series with several installments. As much as it’s exciting and entertaining for readers, writing a long and elaborate adventure can also be enjoyable for authors. Crafting new scenarios and adding more exciting characters to the story can be fun, allowing them to develop a sense of ownership and connection with their books.
However, this doesn’t make writing one any easy.
What Makes Writing a Trilogy Interesting?
There’s something inherently satisfying in crafting and reading trilogies. From Lord of the Rings to the favored young adult novel The Hunger Games, literature is brimming with famous trilogies. Sure, authors can also attempt writing more than a trilogy – they can go beyond and craft a series. But why should they go through the hassle when a holy trinity is already deemed perfect in literature?
In writing, most authors follow the Rule of Three as it’s one of those literary principles proven to work. This proposes that people better understand concepts or ideas if grouped in threes, and words or phrases become more engaging and memorable following this pattern. This rule also suggests readers find a trio of events or characters more humorous and compelling. While this principle typically applies to writing content, this may also explain why trilogies work in literature.
When a single novel can hook readers in the journey, a trilogy will keep them engrossed and invested in the story. The common question of “What happens then?” will be expanded throughout three books, keeping readers on the edge of their seats. Undoubtedly, writing a trilogy makes stories more suspenseful and exciting. It’s what makes readers crave more.
Tips for Writing a Trilogy
While it’s, in essence, three separate books, a trilogy should still act as a single book for readers. It’s crucial that these books stick to one solid plot and structure, and each of the scenes effectively follow one standpoint toward one goal. After identifying the type of story to create, the overarching storyline, authors should separate the events leading to its conclusion into three books.
Writing Book One
Doubtlessly, writing the first book should be the easiest. For one, it marks the start of the author’s journey. Thus, they won’t need to adhere to any deadline for when to finish revisions and writing. As the first book, the author still has ample space to plan and re-plan the events in their stories. While outlining the story must happen before starting the books, book one can provide authors the time to recreate some points within this plan before they’re finalized for the next installments.
Book ones can contain the more straightforward, mundane events before everything else escalates.
Writing Book Two
When it comes to scheduling and deadlines, book two is the most challenging. With the assumption that the first book got popular, authors would want to keep the hype in the second book. After the mundanity in the first book, the second installment should contain all the exciting stuff.
Typically, the first book ends with the protagonist’s victory while alluding to the antagonist’s counter-attack. The authors would need to flesh out this counter-attack in the second volume. Conflicts, tensions, and stakes are heightened during this book. It’s also crucial that authors maintain the same magic in the second book while maintaining the same traits and personalities of the characters. Authors have a lot to juggle going into the second book, from remembering how their characters act to adding enough drama and conflict to make the story more interesting.
Everybody roots for the heroes. The second book is where this support should heighten, with these characters facing one setback after another.
Writing Book Three
Book three marks the end of the story, narrating the protagonist’s comeback and absolute victory. While this may seem like the easy wrapping or tying of things, the third book is everything – and everything difficult. Authors won’t want to publish a mediocre or less satisfying ending. The first and second books contain promises and the goals every character wants. The third book should satisfactorily deliver these to the readers.
The finale should tie everything properly. Authors can leave some things out to make readers continue wondering about the book. But these curiosities shouldn’t be mistaken as possible plot holes.