Posted in Baseball, Books, Romance, Writing

How Writing A Series Is Like Winning Three World Series In Five Years

I recently turned my fourth book in the More Than A Game Series to my editor. After a few rounds of revisions, final copy edits, and galley proofs, Earning A Ring will be available in January 2016 (I think, I don’t have a final release date). I’m really excited about Bryce Baxter and Rachel Parker’s story, and I know many of my readers are too. But this book wasn’t any easier to write than the first one. Or the second. Or even the third book.

Portrait of baseball player with bare chest holding bat Cover Worth The Trade Making A Comeback cover

In some ways, this book was even harder than the first three. Part of it, I’m sure, has to do with expectations. Mostly my own, but I feel like I need to set the bar higher with each book. I’m sure some of my readers will enjoy Earning A Ring more than any of my other books, some who will think Better Than Perfect was almost perfect. I hope some of my readers will have a special place in their hearts for Worth The Trade, and some will make room on their keeper shelf for Making A Comeback.

I started taking my writing seriously in 2010. The San Francisco Giants won their first World Series since moving from New York that year. I have three books available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Books-A-Million. The Giants have three World Series Championships. Coincidence? Maybe. All I know is that I have a fourth baseball book coming out, so we’ll see if the boys in Orange and Black can pull off another title.

This season is off to a dreadful start. (Funny, that happens to the Goliaths at the beginning of Earning A Ring.) I mean, the worst since moving from New York. But the season is young. Very young. And if one team in the division can go through a seven eight game losing streak, so can all the others.

In every baseball season there are challenges. Really, it would be boring to win all 162 regular season games. Just like it would be boring if the hero and heroine met, fell in love, and had no conflict from page one. Would anyone want to read about two perfect people who never made mistakes, never second guessed themselves, and always had everything go their way? I wouldn’t. If I read a book where everything is going right for the main character I’m wondering what catastrophe awaits them.

The challenge in writing a series is in keeping the conflict fresh.The ballplayers all want the same thing, success on the field. It’s how they define it, and how they execute it, that makes the stories different. Johnny Scottsdale had all the personal triumphs on the field, he is looking for the team success before he retires. Marco Santiago had moved from team to team in his career, he wants nothing more than a long term contract. Nathan Cooper has made mistakes that cost him playing time and perhaps his health. He is trying to make it back to the game. Bryce Baxter has been rewarded with success. He just needs to feel like he has earned it.

That’s what we want for all of our heroes and heroines, we want them to earn their happily-ever-afters. We want to see them overcome obstacles, rise above challenges, and come out stronger than ever. We read to feel the emotions of the characters in the books.

We have similar relationships with our sports teams. We feel elated when they have success. We feel the agony of their defeats. And we absolutely feel the joy of winning it all. We are a part of the journey, wherever it takes us. And if the ending isn’t satisfying, well, we’ll wait for the next chapter–or the next season.

The first two trophies.
The first two trophies.
Advertisements

Author:

Author of Contemporary Romance. Wife. Mother. Educator. Sports fan. And I once trained to be a model, but I don't look like one. Most days I don't even wear makeup.

4 thoughts on “How Writing A Series Is Like Winning Three World Series In Five Years

  1. Thanks, Cindy.

    It’s hard to believe sometimes. And I’m doing some research on the next book. The heroine is a member of the ballpark’s ground crew. But other than watching my husband drag the infield for our kids’ Little League games, I have no idea what her job entails. I can’t wait to find out.

    Like

    1. It’s been a wild ride these last five years. And I’m not talking about the baseball. I’m so glad I found a group of writers who have been on this journey with me. Writing may be a solo activity (like batting), but it is most definitely a team sport.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s