I found myself in that situation when I had plotted six books for The Tudor Enigma and Carina/Harlequin only wanted the first three. Part of the contract was that I can’t use the same characters without submitting the book to them first, a condition I think is reasonable.
So I have three plots, all done in outline, one nearly 20,000 words in and I can’t continue. What should I do? The plot is sound, perhaps I could take the story twenty years further on and use the children of my Tudor Enigma main characters. Possible, but there is another complication. For my sins, I have grown rather bored with most things Tudor. Thanks to a couple of excellent writers, my writing eyes are turning to the Plantagenets. Allied to that, we have recently moved house to rural Lincolnshire, where history is alive and kicking in the form of John of Gaunt, Kathryn Swynford, Henry IV, to name just a few, who lived and breathed in the county. Then there is the battlefield of Losecote Field – currently covered by the A1 just north of Stamford, but the story of the battle itself is fascinating and yet another proof of just how brilliant a battle commander Edward IV was. And, of course, where Edward went, Richard, Duke of Gloucester was not far behind.
So, could I transfer the basic plot from 1553 back to 1469? In the first Tudor Enigma book, Court of Conspiracy, a subsidiary character was a stable lad called Gethin. He was the catalyst for my hero elemancer, Luke Ballard, to begin his investigation into a conspiracy to kill the king, but, that apart, his role in the book was tiny. But, Gethin has stayed with me and now I think I would like to reincarnate him, bring him down to Lincolnshire and make him my protagonist.
As to whether I can use the plots I am left with from The Tudor Enigma series remains to be seen. I have a suspicion that shoe-horning someone into a place they don’t fit will not work. However, it will be fun to find out.
But first, I must finish editing the first full length novel in my contemporary mystery series, Dearly Ransomed Soul, where early-music soprano, Georgia Pattison has to find a killer before her best friend gets framed for it, unless, of course, the best friend is the killer. With luck and a following wind, the book should be available for your e-reader soon. I will let Gethin and Edward IV play about in my subconscious until then.