Guardian wrote:I say the same what Polymath said with a slight add-on; each of the novels should have a "beginning, middle and an ending" structure, regardless they're not standalone. I'm also writing a trilogy and this part was one of the hardest, to keep this "sub-structure", while you're also doing the same in the trilogy's structure. The best is if you end each of the volumes with a twist right when the ending moment of the actual volume is already passed.
Sanderling wrote:If you're certain that the story is a trilogy, then I'd suggest going ahead and writing the first book (which you've already got outlined) while you let the others gel in the back of your mind. It could be that as you're writing the first one some plot items or character developments or something else that becomes apparent as you go along might spark an idea for what needs to take place in book three.
dios4vida wrote:I never planned on any of my books becoming series. They were just stand-alones, until one little sentence popped up and said "ooooh, this could be so much more!" At that point I put the idea down but still didn't plan it out. It was only after I finished the first book that I even thought about what exactly would happen in the next book. So much happens that you don't necessarily plan - and even a tiny, casual mention of something can become hugely significant if you let it.
Nicole R wrote:Sanderling wrote:If you're certain that the story is a trilogy, then I'd suggest going ahead and writing the first book (which you've already got outlined) while you let the others gel in the back of your mind. It could be that as you're writing the first one some plot items or character developments or something else that becomes apparent as you go along might spark an idea for what needs to take place in book three.
This! I'm in the middle of a trilogy right now - about 2/3 through Book 2 - and this has been my experience. When I began Book 1, I knew the plot arcs for each book and wrote out my general idea for how I wanted to end the series. However, all of those ideas morphed and solidified while writing the first book and, now, parts of the second.
This was how it was for me, too. I started my WIP figuring on it being a standalone. Admittedly, I'm a pantser, so it's a little different from if you're trying to outline a series in advance... but I started with just the beginning and conclusion known, and very little in between. About a third of the way into the story a twist came up that I wasn't expecting, and I ended up spending the rest of the book just resolving that problem; I never did get back to the main plot arc. That's when I realized the story was a trilogy. I finally sat down and outlined books two and three after finishing book one and have a sense of where they're going to go... but until I actually start writing them, I won't actually know. It's entirely possible I could get a third of the way into book two and have another twist pop up that changes things again.
I can't speak for the plotters... but I would suspect that even the hard plotters aren't immune to this. I'd bet that many of them might be happily writing along, sticking firmly to their outline, when they suddenly get an idea for a slight change in plot or character that isn't in their outline but would make it so much better. Stories are fluid things, like rivers. We can try to contain them, but if they decide they want to go a different way, they will.
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