HOW TO THINK “TRILOGY”
If you are going to go ahead and write the series after considering the advantages and the disadvantages, then think about the premise, the overarching idea of the trilogy itself.
I will say that a series that doesn’t have an overarching premise is doomed to fail. There needs to be something that connects the books together besides the characters.
Good characters only intrigue a few. A great story intrigues the masses. Trinity, from the Matrix, was a great 1-D character, but the plot of the Matrix 2 & 3 couldn’t contain her, so those movies will not be remembered like the Matrix 1.
Think of a premise and stretch it. What would you like your series to prove?
Let’s say that your premise is: only the strong can defeat darkness, and you want to write a trilogy. Each book in the series must be dominated by your overarching theme, and each book must have its own theme.
Here’s the breakdown:
ONLY THE STRONG CAN DEFEAT DARKNESS
Book 1: Those who are weak will crumble under evil.
Book 2: If the weak prevail, then people will never overcome.
Book 3: When the weak accept their fate, only then do they become strong.
So you have three premises that all prove your main premise. Now each book should highlight the points that you are making.
Book 1 should show how evil has control over the people, dominating them.
Book 2 should show a person who is weak, come to power, and crush the people due to his own weakness.
Book 3 should show someone who was once weak who takes up the sword and defeats the evil
Each point shows how if weakness wins, then the evil is not defeated; therefore, leaving room to prove the point that only the strong can defeat darkness.
The Matrix shot itself in the foot because it broke its arching premise: only one man can liberate humanity.
There is no evidence in Matrix 1 that there are other “Neos” out there. So when the idea that more “Neos” exist, coming back to try to save the people only to keep them in the bondage of hope, the trilogy’s arc was broken like a devastated McDonald’s arch.
Why? Think about it. If the president says that all American lives are important, but then in the next breath he says, but we are not willing to save one because we don’t see it as beneficial, then he has just debunked his own premise.
Now if he said “all American lives are important, but we are not willing to save one American because we don’t want to risk the lives of other Americans,” then we actually have a continuation of a sound premise.
Let’s look at this for a thriller:
ALL AMERICAN LIVES ARE IMPORTANT
Book 1: One life is not worth risking the lives of hundreds of others.
Book 2: Even the lowliest of lives is worth saving.
Book 3: Every life worth living, is a life worth dying for.
I hope this helps! Happy Monday!!