When Your 3rd Act Has 3 Acts

I don’t know why anyone listens to me. I am truly no expert on writing. I’m tugging my hair and rubbing my face right now after another editing session for the 3rd and last book of my novella trilogy.

I knew writing a series would be a challenge. It wasn’t what I intended to do at all. The short story I nurtured decided it wanted to grow up to be a novella and then it pushed for siblings, how could I deny my little one? haha

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In a trilogy you have a perfect set up for three main acts. Each self contained story has to have it’s own plot, but everything should come together in the end.

With my Embracing Entropy Series, Book 1: By the Stars, introduced the characters, the world, the situations. The first in a series is often a complicated introduction that should be a fun ride, but leaves more to be desired. An author can only gather where or not they pulled this off from reviews and critiques. I’ve always been very happy with how By the Stars turned out. It’s a breeze to read and easy to relate to. (Or so I’ve been told heehee)

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Book 2: Wish for Survival has yet to be released. It’s coming during The Ides of March, so beware. haha No really, the middle story in a trilogy has to live up to the first while also building for a third. It just so happens that I met my writing buddy George Sirois at a book signing event we both did, and we discovered that we both had come to this conclusion as we were in the throws of finishing the 2nd books in our different trilogies. (I love it when hings coincide like that. Allows us to offer and gain support even if we don’t realize we need it)

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The struggles of writing the second book of a trilogy are usually quelled with reader responses. But like the sillikins I am, I couldn’t keep book 3 from erupting out of me. I am NOT A REAL WRITER. I never get writer’s block, I always make my deadlines or turn things in early, and I never run out of ideas. I have even learned to love editing, most of the time.

Getting into the edits for book 3: Perfect Chaos has maimed me though. Unlike book 1 and 2 this is longer, meaner; it has so much in it I could easily extend it to a full length novel. But I don’t think that would be wise. Something about this particular series seems to appeal to my readers because it’s fast paced.

Despite my added details, and the fact that Perfect Chaos is about 11,000 words longer than the other two in the series, it does round everything out. But as usual I’m battling self-doubt, and the fear that my work doesn’t shine enough. It’s polish! polish! polish! for now. I fear I got spoiled with books 1 and 2 because they were easier to edit. Thing is I hate book 3 the most, and I love it the most.

Like everything else in my writing career, it’s the most frustratingly awesome love/hate relationship ever.

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Not only is book three longer and meaner, it has three acts in itself. I’m not talking your typical beginning, middle, end. I mean there are three very separate waves of stories here that I somehow ended up pulling off.

I don’t want to reveal too much, but the entire series has some historical influence, and book 3 is packed with a good umber of those kinds of parallels (if you look close enough).

When I started to write book 3, I knew it would swing wide. I knew it was going to take a lot to wrap everything up, but I didn’t expect to feel so uncertain about it all. I’m constantly traveling new avenues with my works. This series is definitely not lacking in imagination, or originality. Those are always the two main things that editors and publishers praise me for.

So maybe the shifting acts of book 3 will give readers the ending they deserve. I sure hope so. You can’t rush a meaningful good-bye. And this last book is sure to offer quite the farewell.

4 thoughts on “When Your 3rd Act Has 3 Acts

  1. Dave S. Koster says:

    “I don’t know why anyone listens to me. I am truly no expert on writing.” We listen to you because you’re a real person experiencing and surmounting some of the same challenges the rest of us are facing and trying to work out how to deal with.

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