Writing a series that isn’t a serial can be difficult. Books become formulaic, and to some degree, the same characters in either an overarching battle facing minor bosses to reach the final big boss is necessary. However, with detective novels, a writer can risk doing the same case with a different cast over and over again.
When I write, I want to always improve. Each book should be better than the last in some aspect. For Grimm Remains, I aimed to improve editing on my end and overuse of certain words. I succeeded and made my editors’ jobs easier. From Grimm Remains to Book 3 (tentatively – SMOKE & MIRRORS), I want to foster my subplots and solidify an underline mystery.
Mysteries in fantasy work well. From the Harry Potter series to the Dresden Files, mysteries build intrigue. They keep the reader hooked.
I wrote a draft – then another, but the mystery didn’t stick. My basic outlines weren’t working, so I made a 20-page outline, and now I’ve got it down. I’ll be dealing with a villain mystery, a murder mystery of sorts, and a wonderful subplot regarding Jon’s father. We’ll finally learn the connection between Jon’s father and Jordan. I’ve seen some speculation, and nobody has guess correctly so far.
Jon’s growth, of course, remains integral to the piece, and likely, this book will be the longest by a good margin. I’ve written the first 10K in four days, and there should be a first complete draft by the end of June. Editing will take place in early July with minor rewrites. If I keep my nose to the grind, I’ll have it to the editors by mid-late July.
And – unlike the gap between my previous novels, I’ll start work right away on Book 4. We might just learn more about Solomon Morgan’s ties to the magical world. Admittedly, I’ve also got a section outline in which we get a not-so-welcome visitor from Jordan’s past, but I think I’ll hold off on that until Book 5.