Plot breakthroughs

If there’s one thing I have been thinking about lately, it’s my trilogy (the Sorcery Cycle). The main source of frustration is the fact that it doesn’t feel like a trilogy. While some parts of the third book are related to the previous two, there is a very large time gap between them, and after book two it would just be a huge anti-climax. It is not really part of the main story arc of the series; I have just thought so because it follows the personal story arc of one of the important characters.

The trilogy, which consists of Rogue Sorcery (RS), Forgotten Sorcery (FS) and Natural Sorcery (NS), is the first in a longer series, if you can call it that. The series does not have a continuous plot, nor does it necessarily feature the same characters (or even the same world(s)). Some characters and places are recurring, others not.

RS and FS is, in reality, more closely tied to a fourth story, The Madness, which in many ways is the conclusion (though sort of indirectly) to one of the main plotlines. However, they have no characters in common except a minor one, do not occur at the same place or time, and feel quite different from each other. NS is more the personal story of Ceredi as he battles the demons of his past.

So after agonizing over everything that is wrong for quite a while now, I’ve come to the realisation that it’s actually not a trilogy. The one part that relates to the story of RS/FS and/or The Madness can be reworked quite neatly into RS. This way NS can be it’s own thing, and get a new and not-so-misleading name.

So now I am working through the story arcs, deciding which stories and subplots will be included, and what the plot of the actual duology will be. I think I am getting closer. I fear I have a lot of work in front of me, but I am convinced that the series will be better for it. I have certainly gotten back my enthusiasm for it!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Series I Have Yet To Finish

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they post a new Top Ten list related to books and reading.

This week the topic is Top Ten series I have yet to finish – which is an excellent topic. I read a lot of series. Since I read primarily fantasy there’s almost nothing but series, with a few exceptions.The list contains a good mix of series I hate and therefore have stopped on principle, and series I like or outright love, that I haven’t been able to afford yet.

1. Robert Jordan: Wheel of Time. This was one of the first fantasy series I read, and while I still plan on finishing it one day… it will not be now. Some years ago, when book 11 came out, I was reading the back of the book… then the first few pages… and the last few pages. Turns out nothing much really seemed to have changed from the previous book, so I decided that enough was enough. The past two or three books had bored me anyway.

2. Rob Thurman: The Cal Leandros series. I really like the series, it’s not that, it’s just I don’t like it enough to really make an effort to finish the series (that, and my wallet screams NOOOO every time I try to pick it up in the store). This one I will definitely pick up again soon.

3. Brent Weeks: The Night Angel trilogy. The books are good, really good, and in theory I should like them. But reading them has been incredibly slow. I almost gave up the first book twice, and now that I am reading the second book I just can’t find the motivation to finish the series. I own all the books and I like the writing, it’s just not the right thing for me right now.

4. George R. R. Martin: A Song of Ice and Fire. While we are talking about books I like in theory but which I struggle to get through. Well – I truly disliked book four, but that’s another matter. I just can’t accept the fact that those characters I root for most likely will die before the end. I WILL finish the series, and I’ve bought the last book, but… maybe not yet.

5. Janet Evanovich: The Stephanie Plum series. I used to really, really like this series, so much that I own and love the first 18 books and the in-between-numbers books up to that point. But there is only so many times you can read about her love life with the same two guys, or that you can laugh about her crazy grandmother, or Lula… There’s very little new in the series now, and I am thinking of giving the books up for good. The decline in quality has been both steady and steep, unfortunately. But I whole-heartedly recommend the first fourteen books (twelve is my favourite).

6. Kat Richardson: Greywalker. I love, love, love the books, I just haven’t gotten around to buying the last book yet. It will happen very soon…

7. Terry Pratchett: The Discworld books. I decided to balance the list out with books I really, really love. The only reason I haven’t finished it is because the series is so huge. I am working my way through it, four or five books a year…

8. China Miéville: Perdido Street Station, The Scar, Iron Council. Back when Iron Council came out there were a great number of positive reviews. What these failed to mention, and the book as well, was that Iron Council is part of a series. I bought the two previous books, but haven’t even finished the first book. It was a little annoying.

9. Clay and Susan Griffith: Vampire Empire. On principle I like books where vampires are portrayed as really bad guys, or monsters. I should like this series, then, but I got the feeling that it could have been done far better. I might finish it someday, but not yet.

10. Sarah Rees Brennan: Demon’s Lexicon. I loved the first book, I’m just not sure I loved it enough to continue the series just yet. But the plot was great and I could not predict the twists, so I most likely will.

What is your list?