Do writers need THREE books to succeed?


As a novice and aspiring writer I am still on a steep learning curve. I have a  wonderful story to tell and am researching it and still working on the plot. The opening chapter has already been revised. I have now discovered a wonderful new world full of resources and good advice. Its called WordPress. So much to read, so much good advice and its dynamic and interactive. But something is starting to trouble me. I have noticed several writers have or are working on not only one story but a trilogy no less and sometimes more. Is this to please / placate publishers? Is it to attract more attention? Is the one-off novel some kind of dead duck?

Some advice or elucidation would be welcomed on this matter. Its not as if I can spin out my story over three books. But I could look to develop a central character with  the legs to keep running into new crimes and scenarios just in case. I was in  the Boy Scouts many many moons ago. They used to have a great motto. “Be prepared”. Do I need to be?

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About bakersfieldlad

July 2015...... I published my first book on Amazon - "Savilles Spinnney". On April 1st 2015 I published my second book - "Arsenic Sally". Christmas Day 2015 I published my third book " Murder Mystery and Mayhem on the Railways 1830-1899. That's 3 books in roughly 18 months. I enjoy researching and see no reason to stop writing. There will be many many more books and while I would love to be taken in by a publisher I am content to make my books available via Amazon. Keep checking my blogs for updates about my upcoming projects......
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6 Responses to Do writers need THREE books to succeed?

  1. verasilver says:

    I am hardly speaking from experience here- I have only just started my first novel, and it most likely will never be published- but I would suggest you should not plan or think about a trilogy unless it comes naturally to you.

    If you have a book idea (which I’d love to hear about btw!) then focus on that, flesh out all the characters and scenes, think about that book 24/7 until the words are basically pouring from your fingertips.

    Don’t worry about other books, or trilogies, for now. That’s what the future is for.

    -Vera

    • Many thanks for the reply, thats good advice and re-assurance too. If you check out my other blog posts you will learn something of my book and I will use the blog to reveal it little by little but its a historical crime story based on a real life event that I am connected to on a number of levels. I still need to get to the Public Record Office in Kew and maybe the British Library to complete the research – well complete it enough to get writing properly. As for what its like, think of Suspicions of Mr Whicher but much deadlier, more bloody than that with a truly tragic story.

  2. Candace Knoebel says:

    I am writing three because that is how the plot developed for me. I didn’t decide this to please anyone or for any kind of extra attention…it’s just how the story unfolded as I wrote the first draft. I couldn’t get the whole story out without doing it this way. Especially when a first novel should only be between 50k and 80k.

    I don’t feel it’s a fad or that it’s necessary for success. Some stories should stop at one and there are more than plenty that do.

    When you force the story to be more than what it is, then you lose the point of why you write to begin with. And good reading material. Do what’s best for the story, not to conform.
    But I only speak for myself.;)

    • Good advice received with thanks. As my novel is nowhere near fully written I can change and adapt it but I already have the main characters, events and timeline. Deciding on who should tell the story has been a sticking point and I could develop that character further but time will tell. Having more than one book or a strong main character was a signal I have been picking up on WordPress plus at a crime writing event I attended. Its good to talk and get new perspectives. Two heads are definitely better than one, thank you.

      • Candace Knoebel says:

        I agree! You will just know. Maybe not a trilogy, but a series, especially if it’s a crime novel. Good luck!!!

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