Series plotting

When I was writing Sonic fanfic, I didn’t have a series plan. My series was like a never-ending tower of Lego bricks. I added on a bit here, and added on a bit there. So to date, my Sonic series looks like the literary version of the Winchester Mystery House.

You can’t do that with published work. Publishers want to know if you’re writing a series, and how many books will be in it. Readers expect a beginning, a middle, and an end. Even very long-running series have an end. (Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot both died.)

I’ve been chewing on that with our Spacetime series. I’ve been writing in the world willy-nilly, with hardly a thought as to where it was all leading. My husband, though, keeps envisioning a big finale where the Big Bad gets loose and all the heroes have to join forces to stop her.

So I sat down and tried to order (and title) the series. To my surprise, it actually falls into some kind of series order. Here’s the main characters and their (working) titles:

Book 1: Carda (Strider of Chronos: The Driver)
Book 2: Illianna (Strider of Chronos: The Chessmaster)
Book 3: Rick (Strider of Chronos: The Dragonknight)
Book 4: Revi (Strider of Chronos: The Assassin)
Book 5: Demetrius (Strider of Chronos: The Fallen)

I realized that every hero is always the Strider of Chronos (time and space powers together), and they all deal with Inferna (the Big Bad) in some way. I’ve written all but the fifth book already.

Looking at this makes me excited. It’s like having a road map to fun places. I know where I’ve been, where I’m going, and how I need to angle the other stories in their future drafts to tie them together. So far they’re all stand-alone stories, so you could read them in any order (except not the last book, it does need to go last).

And it just figures that the story I’m writing for Nano is a different series entirely, but still set in the Spacetime universe. I’d love to have a mystery series. This particular mystery is turning out to be so much fun!

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6 thoughts on “Series plotting

  1. Now imagine doing that with a 27 novel series. For the most part, my books must all fit in the greater scheme of things and also stand alone. Aside from the first two, (of which the second is a sequel of the first) the rest of them have to have that double function.

    In the past, I’ve compared it to the Babysitter’s Club. Each novel can stand completely alone, but it can still build the characters and world around it.

    But it is really fun to see how the series shapes out. I’ve found that my third novel has created things that I can use in my first one (Like, for example, a motive for Omicron).

    I’m looking forward to how your novels play out! =)

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    1. I’ve read that a good way to do really long series is to do a series of trilogies. Maybe your plot arcs might break down into threes?

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  2. Sadly, they do not. Though they do fall into categories and “eras” if you will, depending on the condition of the characters, the villains, and the development of the Defenders. For example, the first four all connect closely to each other even if they aren’t all direct sequels, and they establish the four main characters and their relationships. Then the next three connect together, then there’s a “break” with short stories, then three “stand alone” stories, then a sort of mini series… etc. They certainly break up, which helps. =)

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  3. Winchester Mystery House. 🙂 I am so glad you wrote it down and now have a direction or you see a pattern.
    I always enjoy learning about what you are writing.

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  4. Congrats on plotting your plots. Err… Right? Anyway. Yah, it can be helpful to have both a sense of direction and a map of where you’ve already been. Once in a while we all like to be able to see where we stand and measure our progess. Hope that you and your husband enjoy planning the routes ahead for your series but remember too that in writing it’s okay to change your mind as you go and wander off down unmarked trails as you discover them.

    In the words of the great Calvin and Hobbes: there’s treasure everywhere.

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