Series Writing: Thinking Long Term

So Sunday happened and I didn’t have a post prepared. And now it’s Monday, but I have no Illustrations to share.

You see, I’ve been thinking.

‘Oh no,’ the audience thought. Yes, that’s right, all five of you.

You see, I’ve been thinking. During Dirge’s first conception, I had only this very nebulous idea that it was a series. How long of a series, you ask? A, uh, long one. A really, really, really long one. Yes, that’s as far as my former-panster-wired-plotter-phobic brain dared to contemplate on the subject. Because I was sure that, when the time came, those ideas would just come flooding out and surely I had created such an epic that it could span many many books, right?

‘Wrong, dumbass,’ The Muse thought. (The cheeky tart.)

It’s become apparent to me over the last two years that I don’t work very well with nebulous and vague ideas. I need structure and limitations. I need, gasp, a plan. But more than just a book outline, I need a plan for the series. It doesn’t have to be overly detailed, it just needs to be there. I need a map to get me through the wilderness that it is the story. Because I’ve gotten lost too many times to discount it!

So I’ve decided tentatively that Dirge will now be 3-4 books. I like the idea of a trilogy. Some of my favorite books are in back one really long book broken up into trilogies, (The Shanhasson Trilogy, The Hunger Games, etc) but I’m allowing myself the space for a fourth one because I got a really cool idea for a transition book as I was loosely plotting the main arcs of each book. This is not to say I won’t do more books in the series if the ideas keep flowing and the story lends itself to more books, but I like having the limitation of a goal so that I don’t go flying off the hanger or worse, blocking myself because I’m so overwhelmed by the sheer size of it.

I’m starting to feel excited about this project again, and that’s the best thing a writer can hope for. Because the story is now behaving. Or maybe I am, because I’m actually setting time aside to work on it. Whichever it is, things are going well for the moment. More on that on Wednesday.

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