from Greek trilogia, from tri- ‘three times’ + logos ‘story.’
In the current publishing climate, I am seeing a divergent (See what I did, there?) set of perspectives regarding trilogies. On the one hand, folks like them because they are considered to be an extending of a story involving characters the reader has come to love/hate and this is pleasing. On the other hand, the story often changes or ends in a way that a reader might find unsatisfactory.
Because, let’s face it, life DOES that. If your life were a trilogy, would YOU expect to be where you are, now?
As I am writing the final book in what is, in fact, a trilogy, I have to confront the general expectations of those who read trilogies. And I have to confront the fact that I am not and never have been a terribly conventional sort of person.
A trilogy is, as per the definition above, a group of three related novels. Related. That is, they are bound together by common theme or purpose, as well as (often) a character or two. Or more.
My trilogy has three separate books, each with its own story arc, but they are related. They are pointing to a place in history that I always intended to get to, and I’m there, just about, in my current writing. It’s a burden to shoulder, though, when I know how people sort of expect trilogies to conclude. A burden that I hadn’t fully considered when the idea originally occurred to me, once upon a time.
But still, I persevere. I am trying to balance my ideal for this final book—
—As an aside, it is highly intimidating and frustrating to write a trilogy and publish it and be unable to go back and tinker with earlier books in the series—
—with the role
the final book in a trilogy should play. Because, honestly, to me a trilogy is a series of three related books. But to many, it’s a saga that should end in a certain way.
So, I continue to write, adding a scene here and there, progressing forward in my ultimate design for this final Viking book. I fret, I dance, I look up dates and names, I check the weather patterns for the 9th century…
And I enjoy the process.
I hope my readers will enjoy the result. Both of this book and the entire trilogy.