To Build A Story: Plotting and the Unexpected

So, you might have noticed the sidebar hasn’t been moving very much. In the wake of CampNaNo, I haven’t been able to get very many words down. I’m still chipping away some, but I still need some time to get back to my old self. But don’t worry, I haven’t been idle. I’ve been very busy actually, just not in words.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve reached the Twilight Zone that is the middle of the book. I’m at the point where I’m starting to wonder where the story is going, and honestly, before today, I couldn’t have answered that. I had a general idea, but the dots didn’t connect.

I had two long sessions with my amazing CPs, with a lot of coffee, brainstorming, and brilliant ideas (brain babies, as we call them) the pieces have come together.

My CP Rebekah and I talked about climax and resolution a lot, and she said a lot of things that really struck me (I’ll write another post on that later) but from listening to her feedback from an agent on her own story, I realized I had too much going on in my own story. Too many plotlines. I needed to reexamine my core conflict, my climax, and resolution. I needed to step back and look at the story arc, as a whole.

After I talked with them, I came home and wrote for three hours straight. I decided to focus on one plotline, instead of the many I had intended as subplots (but became much more important than intended) and pared away everything else. I wrote down the climax for this plotline, and then doubled the drama and the stakes. I created a resolution that tied off this conflict and plotline, but led to the next.

Which led me to the next book.

Yes, the next book.

From the beginning, I’ve intended for Nightfire to be a standalone. But through CampNaNo, I realized how much more story was there than I had thought. And these stories couldn’t just be side lines and subplots, they had to be told.

So then came the second book, and its story arc. Then the third. And the fourth.

Yes,  the fourth book.

I meant for Nightfire to be standalone, but as I wrote out the conflicts and arcs for each story, it led right into the next one. Sometimes (a lot of times) the story makes itself be told the way it wants to, not always the way you wanted.

So now I look forward to four books. A series. It will be the first series I’ve ever written. It’s somewhat daunting, but exciting at the same time. I really love the story of each one, and the progression of my characters and how the big picture unfolds over the course of the series.

My passion for this story has been reignited. Not that I ever stopped loving it, but I slowed down when I lost my way, and couldn’t see the end. Now I can see the end, and the next one, and the one after that, and the one after that.

When I finished CampNaNo, I thought I was halfway through this journey. But the story had different plans. This is just the beginning 🙂

 

I’ve been throwing around some title ideas for the other books, and wanted to get your input just for fun, though it’s obviously too early for anything definite 🙂 Feel free to throw out other ideas, too!