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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

Who Died?

Dead character

Oh, brother, but this has given me problems!

There is nothing better than the death of a character to give a writer something to get stuck in to. Especially if it is a major player in the story. "Oh, no! The princess has died!"  Don't worry, no spoilers here as my story is short of high profile princesses. 

In a short story a death is a quick shock.  You are not going to have time for lots of death situations in there and probably only once. In a novel, death is a more difficult beast as a death will have repercussions further up the line in your plot which you need to work out. In a saga, a death in book one may suddenly change what happens in book ten and you haven't even started planning for that one yet!

So, again a little belatedly, I have moved from working out who I am going to kill of to who I am NOT going to kill off.

I have done this for the entire saga, I have done this for each series within the saga and I have done this even on a chapter by chapter basis. If I am entering a part of the story where people are going to die, like a battle, for instance, then before I write a word I make a quick list of who I need to survive.  And that is based on who I need to still be living when I eventually fall off the end of my saga.

Good thing I did this too! I have now gone back to my first book and brought a character back to life who I am going to need later! Wish I thought of this before.

So my second lesson to myself has been to plan Who Lives.  Now I know that, I can kill off anyone else I like and enjoy it to the full.

Next: The Neverending Story »


  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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