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  • Sarah Popovich

Timeline to a Trilogy

Updated: Apr 18


My current set up, after writing my trilogy on a folding table and chair.

I wrote three full-length novels in a six-month time span, but it wasn’t as hard as it probably sounds. These were first drafts and not very good ones at that, but in the words of Jodi Picoult, “You can’t edit a blank page.”


It started in January 2019 with an idea in the shower and then ten typed pages, hair dripping down my back. Those pages sat untouched for several months afterward, because yes, I’d always done well in writing and had recently been writing for a non-profit organization, but I knew nothing about crafting fiction. Still, the idea wouldn’t go away.


I signed up for a writing course at my local library and started learning all the things. In every spare moment I was googling or on Pinterest, trying to figure out exactly what “show, don’t tell” really means. I became a woman obsessed, and in late April deleted those first ten pages and started over, with no clue how this thing would end.


I wrote every day. Every. Single. Day.


About halfway through I had a pretty good idea of how my story would end, but then I asked my husband for some ideas for additional conflict, and let’s just say I ran with his suggestions. Before I finished book one, I knew how book three would come to a close, and by the time I wrote it a few months later I’d learned so much about actually writing a book.


Oh, and book two happened somewhere in the middle there… It came together so quickly, as did three, because I finally knew where I was heading, where each scene had to lead.


Then came editing of course, and once again, by the time I’d revised all three books and +300,000 words I’d learned how to actually do it. So naturally I had to revise book one again, and I just finished. That whole process took much longer than six months, in fact in my last revision I actually re-wrote book one. That alone took about five months thanks to holidays and you know… life interfering with my work.


Book 1 ready for beta readers.

It’s so much better though. I’ve glean wisdom from published authors thanks to the program at my library. I’ve entered contests and finaled in both. I’ve received copious amounts of encouragement and agonized over the tiniest critiques. I’ve been invited and introduced to other local authors and have gained a support system and learned so much about the publishing world.


And guess what? The writing is the easy part LOL!


Publishing is a whole other beast, but it’s one I’m hoping to tame. So, I’m going after it and perhaps will eventually figure out what I’m doing. In the meantime, wish me luck, and good luck to you in your endeavors.


Are you a writer? An artist? A musician? Or are you like me not so long ago, clueless that something amazing is lurking right around the corner? I never would’ve guessed I’d end up here—as a writer—but with a trilogy under my belt (and another half-finished manuscript plus ideas for ten more).


I can’t imagine doing anything else. For some people the timeline is fast, for others it takes decades, but the point is finding something you never want to quit. Have you found your thing?


- Sarah




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