My Riparia Dellbane series will be five novels. There, I’ve said it and I’m going to stick to it. In my gut I’ve known for awhile, but today, as I was completing my editing pass on Bk2, it struck me. The little voice said, “Yes, it will be five novels so why don’t you make it official?”
So, there it is. Riparia’s series will be a pentalogy. The truth of it had entered my mind while drafting So Others Might Remember. It felt like a middle book.
*I’m only talking about the books where Riparia Dellbane is the lead character. There’s also a prequel, Exhuming Truths, that focuses on different characters. She’s barely in it and never has a POV scene. There are also a couple of periphery novels that take place in the same timeline and country, but that she isn’t in at all (Torment Surfacing, Essence Stone).
Let’s get back to the five books…
As I mentioned, limiting the series to a pentalogy length first entered my mind while drafting Bk3, but there are other reasons. For instance, there’s a symbolic reason for creating a pentalogy, but I won’t go into it because it’d be a spoiler. There are also arcs in the story I couldn’t sustain over more than five books without ending them early or padding. I refuse to do either.
From a writing perspective, by declaring an end I’ll force myself to be more succinct. I also have other writing ideas I wish to explore and don’t want these novels to go on forever until they’re stumbling or on their knees.
There’s yet another reason, and it has to do with the titles. Without diving into spoilers, there’s a scene in Bk1, Trust in the Forgotten, from which I culled the title for Bk2. I was so happy with it that I did the same for Bk3. At that point I broke down the scene and found that there were two other phrases that would serve as excellent titles. Not only that, they were perfect fits for Bk4 and Bk5.
If I had to point to a moment when the pentalogy solidified in my mind uncovering the titles was it. I couldn’t ask for more than to have such deep meaning for each novel’s name (Bk1 is the exception, of course, but the title does appear in the book).
So, there you have it. A pentalogy. I like it, and it gives me a bigger goal to focus on instead of the series feeling open-ended. Too, there’s the Pannulus series waiting for me to write it (there’s already one novel written for it).
Whew! This is liberating.