|Switching Tracks - Commonplace?|
The good news is that, with the help of my critique partners, I realized that with a little tweaking, I already had a great place to end this sequel at 75,000 words, and the remaining scenes easily shifted into a third book. Looks like I'll have a series of three stand-alone scripture-based books. I feel better knowing I actually wrote the second book in less than a year instead of what felt like forever, and that I've already got a good start on the third.
The funny thing is that one of my partners pushed for my book to take this direction early on, but I wasn't mentally ready to hear about splitting the book in two. It felt like switching tracks near the end of a big project. It took the newly added scenes for my vision to align with hers. After some revisions, beta readers will tell me if it works for them as well.
Sometimes writers need a break from the genre or a set of characters. In fact, I plan to try my hand at a romance novella before going back to book 3. We don't always know what direction our writing will take us or when we'll choose an alternate path. It can get frustrating if you can't envision where the track leads. That's what makes it an adventure. Just make sure you have a plan, new or old. And perhaps a few good critique partners in your corner. Happy writing!