Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Writing Out Of Order & A Give Away!!!

Meradeth Houston author of The Chemistry of Fate is here today to talk about writing your series out of order! Take it away, Meradeth.

My recent release, The Chemistry of Fate, is actually set before my first novel, Colors Like Memories. I really never intended for that to happen J. But, funny things happen along the path to publication, and sometimes all that can be done is roll with it. But, there have been a few things I’ve learned from writing a series out of order, and I thought I’d share them with you today.

Chemistry comes before Colors. My next book will actually also be set between
Chemistry and Colors. (Confusing, right? I sometimes really wish I could think in
a straight line!) While each of the books technically can stand on their own, there
is a main arc that all the stories deal with: the secrecy of the Sary. The fourth (and
still unwritten, eep!) book actually wraps up this overarching arc. Dealing with this
theme and building it consistently throughout the books has been one of my main

And definitely one of my main frustrations!

The best tool that I’ve found is my white board. I bought a giant one and it hangs
next to my desk. It came with a bunch of different colors of markers and I’ve been
using it to keep track of plot lines, with different characters in different ink. (I’d
share a picture, but there are some serious spoilers there!) This has allowed me to
weave the eight main characters from each of the books together so that, hopefully,
their story makes sense.

My other trick is my notebook. I feel naked when I don’t have it on me. I will
sometimes resort to Evernote, too, when I’m somewhere with only my phone
handy. I know a lot of writers make use of notebooks to jot down notes or thoughts
when they occur to them and I’m no exception. I also end up drawing out maps of
apartments and other commonly used buildings, the Island where the Sary are from,
and a hundred other little things. I like to think that if I write it down, there’s a good
chance I won’t forget about whatever’s struck me while standing in line at Target
(which sounds good in theory at least, not so sure it always works!).

These are a few of the ways I try to keep track of my projects. How about you?

“They are everywhere, can be anyone, and are always the last person you’d expect.” When
Tom stumbles across his grandfather’s journal, he’s convinced the old man was crazier than he
thought. The book contains references to beings called the Sary, immortals who are assigned to
save humans on the verge of suicide. They certainly aren’t allowed to fall in love with mortals.
Which the journal claims Tom’s grandfather did, resulting in his expulsion from the Sary. As
strange as the journal seems, Tom can’t get the stories out of his head; especially when he finds
the photo of his grandfather’s wings.

Tom’s only distraction is Ari, the girl he studies with for their chemistry class.

Ari has one goal when she arrives in town: see how much Tom knows about the Sary and
neutralize the situation. This isn’t a normal job, but protecting the secrecy of the Sary is vital. If
Tom is a threat to exposing the Sary to the public, fate has a way of taking care of the situation,
usually ending with the mortal’s death. While Ari spends time with Tom, he becomes more than
just an assignment, but how far can a relationship go when she can’t tell him who she really is?
When she finds out just how much Tom actually knows about the Sary, Ari is forced to choose
between her wings, and her heart.

Available at: MuseItUp Publishing Amazon ibooks and B&N

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  1. Yes, I recently started back last year when my parents died. Up until then, I hadn't kept one since I was in high school. My support group counselor suggested that I keep one so that I wouldn't get depressed again.

    1. That's quite a terrible situation, but I hope journaling helps!

  2. Yes, I recently started back last year when my parents died. Up until then, I hadn't kept one since I was in high school. My support group counselor suggested that I keep one so that I wouldn't get depressed again.

  3. Meradeth, I can't wait to see how you tie Ari and Julia's stories together. And I hear you about being struck by inspiration in Target! When it happens, it happens :-)

    P.S. Thanks Beth for sharing this lovely post today!

    1. I'm looking forward to seeing how they all tie together, too! LOL!

  4. I never heard of someone writing a series out of order, but there's certainly no reason not to. Congrats on the series and that amazing white board that keeps all your plots and characters in line! :-)

    1. Thanks! I certainly never meant to do things this way, but that's life sometimes!

  5. Great tip. I love that all the characters have their own color, their own importance :)

  6. GREAT book!!! I just got Colors Like Memories and can't wait to read it! Meradeth is a wonderful writer and a really nice person! BUY HER BOOK! ;)

  7. Great ideas. I've never written a series, but I use vision boarding to help keep track of my characters and things about them. Your books sound fascinating. Best of luck to you.

    1. Thanks! One of my goals this summer is to make myself a vision board--they seem so wonderfully helpful!

  8. Great post, Meradeth! I write out of order when I'm drafting a book, but I've never gone back and written a story that happened before another book. Sounds like fun though!

  9. Wow, that does sound confusing! But you seem to have mastered it ;).

    1. I'm not sure if mastered is the correct term, but it's been fun!!