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.
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