Ordinarily when I’m writing a series, I take a fairly loose approach. I have an idea of what the series is about (and then get to book 3 and realize what the series is really about after all), which shapes the direction I want to take the characters, but no more than that. This is a bit surprising, really, given I’m the Queen of the Three Act Structure when it comes to plotting out individual books. Seriously, Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! Strikes Back! changed my life.
With the SPECTR series, I wanted to take a different approach. I deliberately modeled it after television seasons of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural, where you have a small story every week, but also a bigger story arc composing the entire season.
With that in mind, the first thing I did was plot out the overall story, which helped me realize my originally projected five novellas wouldn’t be nearly enough to cover the story I wanted to tell, so I bumped the number up to six. I wrote down all the key events and laid them out in a three-act structure. This let me identify what major events needed to take place in each installment.
Once I had those in place, when it came time to write each individual novella (or novel in the case of Summoner of Storms), I needed to repeat the process in miniature. For each installment to be satisfying to the reader, it had to have a three-act structure of its own, nested inside the overall structure of the story.
So, for example the Catalyst of the overall story—Gray’s accidental possession of Caleb—had to take place in the first installment. The Dark Night of the Soul (also known as the “Black Moment”) when everything comes crashing down and the hero despairs, had to take place in book five. But all six installments needed to have their own Catalysts and Dark Nights of the Soul embedded within them as well.
It was a challenge unlike anything I’d done before. I wasn’t at all sure I could pull it off, which was why I had to give it a try. It’s not for me to say whether I succeeded, but I certainly enjoyed the process and the journey it took me on.
Blurb: Federal exorcist John Starkweather’s life is in tatters. His best friend Sean betrayed him. SPECTR, the agency he viewed more as a surrogate family than an employer, wants him dead. His only allies are members of the mysterious organization called the Vigilant, whose motives remain in question.
The only thing keeping John together is the presence of his lovers: Caleb Jansen, a powerful telekinetic, and Gray, the vampire spirit possessing Caleb.
Together, they must not only evade capture, but somehow stop SPECTR from building an army of demon possessed soldiers. If they are to succeed, John must question everything he’s ever believed about SPECTR and spirits. And Caleb and Gray must decide how far they’re willing to go—not just for John’s love, but for his very life.
Jordan L. Hawk grew up in the wilds of North Carolina, where she was raised on stories of haints and mountain magic by her bootlegging granny. After using a silver knife in the light of a full moon to summon her true love, she turned her talents to spinning tales. She weaves together couples who need to fall in love, then throws in some evil sorcerers and undead just to make sure they want it bad enough. In Jordan’s world, love might conquer all, but it just as easily could end up in the grave.
The Giveaway: THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED