Starting a new trilogy

I have officially handed in The Outcast trilogy and will be starting on a new King Rolen’s Kin trilogy. About a month ago I woke up with the motivations of all the characters sorted in my mind, which is really weird because I hadn’t been consciously trying to come up with this.

I know who is going to betray/help who and why. I know the character flaws and strengths that will make these actions not only believeable, but perfectly reasonable. And, in fact, the character could not do otherwise, because their actions arise from the person that they are.

The time line is bit hazy and the details are also hazy. But I feel like I can start writing. For me it is this process of heading off on a journey, some of the sign posts are clear but not many, even so I’m willing to trust to my inner-story compass to get me to where I need to go.

There is also the wonderful sense of freedom and exhileration because it will be an exciting journey for me as the characters take the story where they want it to go. I know the world and the characters have grown in the course of the first trilogy, so they are more interesting people.

How much planning do you do for a novel/trilogy?


    1. I know who they are and I know the world.

      As people they’ve lived through so much they are very different from who they were in the beginning of book one. Because they are older and more complex this makes the more interesting characters for me to write.

  1. It depends on what you mean by “planning”. I generally don’t start writing until I have everything from beginning to end straight in my head. So in that since, I plan everything. My current work in progress, however, has essentially no planning going into it. I started with two characters meeting at an airport. I knew that they were going to look for something – but I didn’t know what. And I knew that they knew each other – but I didn’t know how long or how well they knew one another. By winging this story so completely I’m getting a better handle on the character I’m mostly interested in. The result is that I’m doing zero planning for this story, but by getting things sorted out I’m getting some serious planning done for the other stories with this character.

    1. C Kelsey, it is a very different way of writing. I dide a survey through my writing friends on various lists and found that people who planned novels would often wing short stories. While people who winged novels, would often plan short stories. It was really weird.

      I do find it is a get to know you process. If I start out with too strong an idea of character and direction, the characters refuse to behave.

  2. Less planning equals more rewriting. But since I’m still at the learning stage and doing lots of rewriting anyway, the minimal planning seems to help the words flow faster and for longer. Strict planning really shuts down the word flow, but it would be nice to find a middle ground.

  3. Oh, and specifically, the Fantasy Standard of a trilogy, my stuff that have wound up as more than one book always started as a single story idea. It didn’t fit in one cover, so stopping spots had to be picked or manufactured. Secondary threats to be wrapped up at the end of books one and two. Or at least, way points reached, necessary acquistions attained, training acquired.

    Some times it seems like, by the time I’ve got to the end, that the original threat is nearly an afterthought, and I have to work to make sure it really is a serious challenge, dangerous and hard to do. :: sigh :: I have a nasty feeling that I don’t kill enough characters.

    1. :: sigh :: I have a nasty feeling that I don’t kill enough characters.

      LOL. Conflict. Yes. I call it the Worry Factor. You need to keep your reader worried about the main character.

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