L.G. Keltner has a new book out in her Self-Help 101 series that is perfect for Halloween: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People. She’s visiting today with a guest post on some of the challenges she faced with her series. And check out the excerpt at the end! Take it away, L.G.!
The Challenge of Writing a Series in a Year
When I first realized the Christmas novella I’d just published was not to be the stand-alone piece I’d originally thought it was, I began to eagerly plan out what was to come next. I felt energized. I was starting a new year with a clear goal in mind, and I was actually feeling confident that I could accomplish all I needed to do in order to make it happen.
Writing a series poses a lot of challenges, though. Continuity is important. Some series pose more of a challenge in this respect than others, but they all require the author to build upon the events of previous installments. Unless you’re doing an anthology style series, of course. Because of the need for continuity and consistent character development, plotting has become a little more challenging with each novella in the Self-Help 101 series. Conflicts that were set up in prior installments need to come to a head later on. If they don’t, readers may feel cheated.
My largest challenge, however, when it comes to writing this series has been time. When I decided to write it, I set the goal of completing the four novellas by the end of the following year. That time frame made sense to me, because the four novellas take place over the course of a year. It also didn’t seem like too much to handle. When you start at the beginning of a new year, it seems like you have all the time in the world. As most of you know, however, life tends to throw up road blocks every now and then, and time tends to go far faster than you’d hoped. I unexpectedly got pregnant, so that left me feeling icky and not up to writing for those first few weeks. As it is, I’m still on track to meet that initial goal, and I’m feeling pretty good about that.
I’ve learned a lot from this experience, and the challenges have helped me grow as a writer. Try not to let challenges get you down. There’s nothing more rewarding than finding a way to overcome an obstacle and achieve your goal.
What writing-related challenges do you face? How do you deal with them?
“This salad has seen better days,” Daniel said as he moved the wilted greens around the plate with his fork.
“I think the same could be said of any food that’s about to be eaten.” I looked around the dining hall. The staff were all wearing Halloween apparel of some kind, and cheesy spiders, spider webs, and pumpkins adorned the walls. No sign of Seth yet. His class had probably run a few minutes late. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Daniel shook his head as he looked at my chicken sandwich. “No, I think your chicken’s worst day was the day it was killed to become food.”
“Yum. Slaughter. Just what I want to think about when I’m eating.” I picked up my sandwich and took a big bite anyway.
“You’ll never take over the world if you’re disturbed by a little slaughter.”
“That’s why I wrote a book about it. I never intended to actually do it myself,” I said. “If I had intended to do it, I would have kept my nefarious plans to myself.”
Title: Self-Help 101 or: How to Select a Costume to Help You Deal With People
Author: L.G. Keltner
Length: 29,000 words
Cover Art: L.G. Keltner and Jamon Walker
Release Date: September 27, 2016
Book 3 in the Self-Help 101 series.
Dani Finklemeier is adjusting to life in college and the realities of living away from home for the first time. She’s also learning to deal with the criticism that stems from sharing her writing with the world. Some of the online criticism is even spelled correctly, which somehow makes it worse.
Fortunately, she has a Halloween party, a group of friends, and a supportive boyfriend to distract her from the things that are bothering her. Of course, a holiday celebration wouldn’t be complete without something going wrong. Between an unpleasant confrontation with an infuriating classmate, some shocking costume choices, and a bizarre fraternity stunt, the evening will be anything but dull.
Dani’s detractors may not like it, but she’ll definitely have enough material for another book.
L.G. Keltner spends most of her time trying to write while also cleaning up after her crazy but wonderful kids and hanging out with her husband. Her favorite genre of all time is science fiction, and she’s been trying to write novels since the age of six. Needless to say, those earliest attempts weren’t all that good.
Her non-writing hobbies include astronomy and playing Trivial Pursuit.
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