When I first started writing SotI, I knew how it would end. Didn’t matter to me how I got there, as long as I did. And while I envisioned that there would me more stories to follow, I didn’t pay much attention to the details. And yes, there are plenty of things that don’t get completely wrapped up in Book 1, just for that reason.
And then when I pitched to Heather Osborn, she asked that when I sent the full I would also need a few paragraphs on the next two books. And I had to pause and think about that, because now I’m not just plotting out a single book, but an entire arc. And my original idea had been to have 7 books, since that’s how long Abby’s Contract is for, but I understand that an editor might not want to take that sort of risk on a n00b writer – a trilogy might be a better goal. (Although, if Book 3 happens, I think it will be written mostly from Ion’s PoV. He seems to be clamoring about getting a chance to talk. Suppose I should give it to him, eh?) And there could always be spin-offs here and there. Melanie has a story, as does Charlie. (Charlie’s was the original, in fact – from an idea almost 15 years ago. The disk went bad and I lost all my work. Poo.)
Strangely enough, I’ve got Book 3 mostly worked out. Book 2 (aka ShadowWeaver), which I’m actually writing, is a lot less concrete. I think I know how it’s going to end – but it won’t be a particularly neat ending. I like Chapter 1…Chapter 2 is not happy and I think I’m going to have to start over on part of it. The rest of it is notes, which is pretty much how I wrote the first book. I just have a column of “Stuff that Needs to Happen,” and that’s it.
I’m guessing anyone who *really* plots their stories is going into apoplectic fits right about now.
On the other hand, MoonSong is going to be a standalone – and it’s becoming epic. I’ve got tons of notes for this one in place – mostly world building types of things, but new info shows up almost hourly. Even if it doesn’t make it into the story, I need the information for myself, so I can *know* how a certain race of people would act, or the religious implications of decisions, etc. And I’m not one for politics, but I have the feeling there’s going to be quite a bit of it here.
The story? Has a brand new plot – but in this case, I’m not entirely sure of where the ending needs to be. I find that frustrating – I may not care which path I’m going down, but I sure as hell want to know where I’m going.
So, perhaps another walk in the lovely fall air is needed here. (I manage a lot of brainstorming then), and I do have to give out some props to Kendris for being a sounding board over the last few weeks. I’ve managed to come out with some pretty nice stuff as a result. 🙂