Should an independent author break with traditions and standards or follow them? That is the question. I can’t discuss all of them but I would like to mention that one shouldn’t do either if it is only for the sake of doing it.
When your heart, gut, and artistic judgment tell you to go in a particular direction, you should listen and do so. I’m sort of going through this situation with my editor. She’s insisting upon a trilogy that follows the exploits of my main character, the master thief Daggorat and his confidant Cyril the mage.
I can foresee my fantasy world of “Tyrhennia” giving birth to 12 or even 15 novels. Different characters, races, and Kingdoms of an entire world can support a long series.
Will there be a trilogy within that body of work? Perhaps there will be. I haven’t started to write about or even think about any other locations within Tyrhennia, so I can’t say how it will go.
My editor is not insisting on a trilogy because I’ve compacted too much in too few pages. I would understand that bit of wisdom and follow. However, she’s insisting on a trilogy because “That’s what everyone else does.”
I refuse to compromise the quality of my work for the sake of “what everyone else does.” I have two interesting plots for Daggorat and Cyril, and that’s all I see at this moment. I could have a flash of inspiration and move toward a trilogy. But as of now, forcing a trilogy would mean stuffing extra useless filler material into two novels simply for the sake of it.
Does The Godfather Part III or the latest movie trilogy based upon the Hobbit ring a bell? Francis Ford Coppola and Peter Jackson are no slouches when it comes to the director’s chair. Also, they have gobs of funding and skilled artisans working with them; and yet look what happened.
Always follow your heart and artistic intuition.