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C.C. Hogan

Planning a Trilogy or Saga

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Sometimes the best advice is the telling off you give yourself

Planning a book can be fun, but it can also be tedious, frustrating and very unglamourous.  With a plethora of advice out there about how to plan a book, I have found little that could tell me how to plan for a series of NINE books.  Actually, I lie, it is nearly ten books plus a handful of short stories.  These are big books too, not quickies.  So, I have been teaching myself to plan such an enterprise and maybe what I have learned will help others.

I am in the middle of a saga of my own making. Quite literally.   Like most Sagas it started simply; in this case I fell over a character that I quite liked and thought I might write a story about them.  They had a slightly silly name, were at the bottom of the heap and their outlook was grim. There had to be a story in there somewhere.

So, I wrote a chapter and thought about where that was taking me.  I quickly realised that creating problems for the character was easy, but the solutions to these particular problems could be a hell of a lot more complicated.  I knew I was unlikely to solve them in one book, so I added a second.  But that created more problems so I added another one.  Now that worked out quite well, I thought.  I could reach a nice resolution and I would have a trilogy.

But then I realised that though I had completed the tale I had left myself with a bit of a what if.  Oh, dear.  Looked like I had stumbled into Saga Territory.  

At this stage I still had only written the first two chapters of the first book and I needed to stop and do some serious planning. But this also worried me; the one thing I know about planning is that is can be a real kill joy and I had enjoyed writing the first two chapters. What I needed to do was learn to enjoy planning.

Next: Don't Start with a Blank Sheet »

  1. Planning a Trilogy or Saga
  2. Don't Start with a Blank Sheet
  3. Justifying everything
  4. Who Died?
  5. The Neverending Story
  6. Connecting Dots
  7. Don't make notes, write stories
  8. Keeping track and adding notes
  9. Where and When
  10. Getting bogged down in detail
  11. Writing the Plot
  12. And Finally, writing the saga


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