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Starting a New Trilogy

planetI’ve decided to take the advice of my friend Jackson Cordd and let one of my short stories become a novel. Well, actually, three novels.

It started out as a story fragment I’d written years ago, and picked up again last year to work on. It decided at first that it wanted to be a novel, and then finally that it wanted to be a trilogy – the first time I;ve sat down to plan out a three book arc.

I’d written about 12,000 words when I stopped work a couple months ago on it to focus on some other short stories.

Picking it up again, I realized I wasn’t clear on some of the plot points and characters, and would need that information to move ahead. Do I made some notes last week, but it just wasn’t coming together.

So at the advice of my wonderful husband, I let it set and stew, and yesterday in the car on the way home from Trader Joe’s, I figured it out.

I also realized this was my chance to add a lesbian character – I’ve never done one, and her viewpoint will help me round out the story.

Have you ever planned out a novel or series all at once? And how do you do it?

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4 thoughts on “Starting a New Trilogy”

  1. I’m a fairly hard core pantser, but always end up with ideas for the next book/books as I finish one up. My agent recommends, even in the case of a trilogy, not to write the next book until the first one sells. So a lot of my ideas end up sitting around waiting for the next sale. The reason for this is that publishers might want changes that end up foiling all the work you did on the next book. Now, if you’re self publishing, don’t worry about that. Also the waiting time is the perfect time to work on something new. You never know what’s going to catch people’s attention.
    Now, if you cowriting something with someone, it really helps to plot things out in advance. Mysteries are also fairly important to plot out so you don’t end up with plot holes.
    Just my own opinions. If an idea shows up full blown, at least write it down since in the course of writing, its going to change and mature.

  2. I’m actually going to work a short story that comes out this summer into a novel. I took part in the M/M Romance group on Goodreads’ challenge, so I had to turn it in. I hadn’t written much when I realized there could be so much more to tell (but not enough time to write it before the deadline).

    As for planning a trilogy, I usually start with one book, but then get more ideas for sequels/trilogy. I try to plan them roughly, writing the first one with clues etc. to tie them all together.

    I also heard that you shouldn’t write the second and third until you’ve sold the first, but the problem with that is that you might lose interest while waiting. At least that’s what happened to mine :/ If I’d written the other two right away they’d be written already. Instead the first manuscript has been sitting in my drawer (well, computer file, but you know…) for seven years and the other two are just notes on pieces of paper. I think that people should write the trilogies while they’re in the zone and then alter them later if the publisher wants to. You do know the story inside-out anyway, so it’s not that hard to change them.


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