How Odd

Post ImageThe current book project is, indeed, intended to be a series of books. When I first re-tooled the idea last summer, it looked like it would span five volumes. While writing the first draft and approaching what would have been the end of the first book, I realized the ending I had originally outlined was fairly lame. Okay, really lame. It would have been as if Tolkien decided to end The Fellowship of the Ring halfway during the Council of Elrond. Had by some miracle it been published, it would have received reviews from some extremely disappointed readers.

So I combined the first two storylines into one, then checked my original outline again. Hmmm… now the third book looked thoroughly pointless. Rejected. So how about the fourth and fifth? Hmmm… yeah, these really should be one book as well. And hey presto! just like that, I had a trilogy. I can live with that.

But after I (more or less) completed the first draft, I began the retooling phase. Writing with my head, as it were. Suddenly it started looking like an extra book might be needed after all. Which to the average person might not sound like a big deal, but causes me to channel the Knights Who Say Ni and declare, “There is one small problem!”

No, it’s not the lack of shrubbery. It’s the fact that four books is an even number. And I just can’t have that. I can’t tell you why, but it’s wrong. Two is bad. Four is bad. Six is bad. Forget the content: I just can’t deal with having an even number of books in a series. One is an awesome number. Three, of course, is absolute magic. Five is like three, but on steroids. Seven is how many years you go to Hogwarts. But four? Uck. Me no like.

If I had to put my finger on it, I believe it comes down to this: there’s no “middle” point. It somehow feels unbalanced. Kind of like when the solar system went from nine planets to eight. It just ain’t right.

Is it just me? Anyone else feel like this?

So I guess I’m going to try and stretch this to five books again. But if someday this whole thing gets published and you notice the middle book is triple spaced with two inch margins, at least you’ll be able to point back to this post for the explanation.

3 Responses to “How Odd”

tuscanystone said
February 9, 2010 at 9:01 am

lol I agree. Odd numbers are more symmetrical. More pleasing to the eye. More balanced! Three is the most favourable though. Just enough, not too much kinda number 🙂

tusc 🙂

TexasDeb said
February 9, 2010 at 9:25 am

Less is more.

Seems to me once a story has hit its stride, be that in a series of books, a television or movie series, it often becomes painfully obvious where and when padding is happening. Not altogether unlike the female form where compression and proper placement, rather than blatant padding, is typically more pleasing to the eye .

If I had my druthers, I’d say recompress back into three, rather than stretch to five. Or, if it takes four books to tell the tale, have the fifth book be a supplemental compendium of some sort with maps, family trees, cultural ephemera, character diaries, whatever, from your created universe. (perhaps with an action figure attached)….

Biz said
February 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Hannah actually likes things even!

Just make the font 18 point for the third book! 😀

Love, your prettier sister