One character, three books – Rosa Temple

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By Rosa Temple

Just last week I began writing the third and final book in a series based on one character. Her name is Magenta Bright and she was first introduced to the world earlier this year. Everyone knows that a story must have a beginning, middle and end (not necessarily written in that order) but what happens when you decide from the outset to write a series of stories? Three to be exact. That’s three beginnings, three middles and three endings – all about one person.♥

The idea of continuing the saga of one character came to me after the number of reviews I got after my first three publications in which people couldn’t get enough of a certain person or they wanted to know how someone got on once they’d made their life-changing decision. Fair enough. I’ve often wondered the same about characters in books or films but, as it turns out, keeping the interest for one character is pretty challenging.

So what was my method? First of all, lots and lots of brainstorming in my writing room and a vast amount of tea and toast as I scribbled furiously in my note books.

Then I had to make sure my central character was able to draw readers to her and keep them there for another two books. I’m not in the habit of writing lovely leading females with traditional good looks and equally sunny dispositions. My lead was a super spoilt and work-shy socialite but I knew she’d have to have some saving graces so that readers would stick with her.

I decided the best thing was to make sure she learns something along the way, that she develops and grows but doesn’t become a whole other person. I wanted to keep her real.

I thought the best way forward was to set up a story that could be self-contained but with a promise of more to come and hoped that readers would be interested enough to come back for book two.

Book two of this series was very hard to write.

By the time I got around to writing it I’d had the first book published by HQ Digital. They offered me a further contract to publish book two and three. Before publishing the first book, though, the publishers had thrown me a curve ball. They wanted me to change my ending! I could have wept but I saw straight away that their advice was spot on. The mistake I was about to make was a glaring cliff hanger that would neither satisfy the reader nor leave my book as the self-contained story I’d intended to write.

The tweaks to book one meant that some of my original book two ideas were no longer valid. Yikes. Back to the drawing board for book two then. Very quickly, though, I realised the formula for approaching book two was the same as for book one. I needed an engaging story that could stand on its own and with the promise of more to come. Only this time I had to move my character along, I had to make her grow even further because that’s real life after all. Who wants to come back to a character and watch her going around in circles? I also felt it necessary to up my writing. In other words, I just felt I owed it to my readers to up my writing skills, too. That meant a more engaging book than the first.

And so I continue on with book three which will be published early next year. I’ll be about 20K to 30K words in by the time this post is published, if not more. It’s going to be the grand finale and the greatest adventure of Magenta’s life. After all if you’re going to have three endings, each has got to be better than the last, right?

Rosa Temple is the pseudonym of writer Fran Clark. A ghostwriter of romance novels, Fran was awarded a Distinction in her Creative Writing MA from Brunel University in 2014. She has penned and self-published three publications as Rosa Temple; Sleeping With Your Best Friend, Natalie’s Getting Married, and Single by Christmas. She recently signed a three-book deal with HQ Digital who published the first, Playing by the Rules, in February 2017. The second, Playing Her Cards Right, was published in August 2017.

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