July 28, 2021 - Switching Series

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

I listen to and watch a lot of podcasts, because I’m always trying to learn something about being a better author. One I subscribed to on YouTube is Author Revolution with Carissa Andrews. But I hadn’t watched many (any?) of them until a few days ago. Serendipitously, the second or third one I watched mentioned she was starting a three-day Plan Your Series Challenge. Hmmm…


I have to interject that I’d also attended a couple of webinars this week, one with David Farland, the author of Million Dollar Outlines, which I’ve been trying to get through while planning The Case of the Pirate’s Puzzle. Everyone has great things to say about him as a teacher, and of course, the webinar was to pitch one of his classes. But it is really expensive and he’s a science fiction and fantasy author. The other webinar was with Jerry Jenkins pitching his class on how to write a bestselling novel. I think that was more expensive than David Farland’s course. And he’s most famous for the Left Behind series, a combination of Christian Fiction and apocalyptic fiction.


I keep thinking that I’ve got more to learn about writing a novel. But I’m no longer a beginner, which is where most of the courses are targeted, and I’ve never run into one of these big courses given by a mystery writer. I’ve been trying to hold off on taking another course, promising myself I’ll pay for a developmental editor for the first book in the Rainbow Ranch Mysteries who will at least be a specialist in plotting a mystery and, hopefully, can give me personalized advice about how to write better fiction.


So my ears perked up when I heard Carissa Andrews mention this Plan Your Series Challenge and—gasp!—I found out she writes a mystery series. Supposedly, in three days, she’ll show you how to plan a series, including outlines for four books in it that you should then be able to write quickly and rapid release. And it’s free! Okay, it’s probably a teaser for her paid course, but the timing seemed opportune, since it starts on Monday, which was when I was supposed to start outlining the first book in the Rainbow Ranch Mysteries. I signed up for the challenge, which means a newsletter and a FB group.


I didn’t expect to have the first newsletter arrive yesterday with a pre-planning assignment. Guess what I worked on today?


It was actually fun, answering some of the questions about this new series, going over what ideas and brainstorming I’ve gathered over time, and thinking about what this series should look like.


But it leaves me in a dilemma about what to do with The Case of the Pirate’s Puzzle. My best guess—as of today—is that I’m going to focus on the new series for the next couple of days, and then spend the weekend putting all my notebook scribbles about Pirate’s Puzzle into Plottr and Scrivener, and pick that up after I’ve got the first book in the new series drafted.


But that may change.

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