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In critiquing my storyline, I have two challenges. One is to keep the excitement going in book 2 and 3. The second challenge is to keep the characters real enough so the readers can relate to them.
I found the 2nd and 3rd book more difficult to write because I had to maintain the excitement level for the reader. A real page turner needs a lot of twists and turns. My favorite part of book one was when the characters were working on their own end of the problem with such intensity that they were led in opposite directions making the situation much more complicated.
Piling up the misadventures to keep the suspense going brings me to the second challenge. I want the story to have some fantastical musings bouncing around more realistic ideas so it's not so bizarre that the reader feels it is a childish creation.
My characters have been thrust into dangerous scenarios and are drawn into courageous and self sacrificing choices. But how do they get their chores done? The sidewalk needs to be shoveled. The light bill has to be paid. There's food going bad in the fridge because the characters are so busy getting away from bad guys!
Another problem is the main characters, Barry and Jillian, have a child. Unlike soap opera story lines, I did not give them a nanny. Sure Julia helped out, from time to time, but I had to eventually deepen her character which meant she had to do more than babysit her nephew.
So check out the books and read how I tried to keep the story realistic with entertaining fantasy.