Bad Novel Girl. No cookie.
I'm do apologize, gentle and faithful readership (and fellow Girls), for my lapse. But you see, I'm hip-deep in...
...wait for it...
(Don't you just love how I can turn my delinquency on it's head and make it post-relevant? Heh.)
As you may know, my first book WONDROUS STRANGE was the start of a trilogy. It will be followed at the end of this year with DARKLIGHT (and here we must pause for a wholly gratuitous bit of horn-tooting, on account of the fact that I just received the okay to post my incredible cover art!):
Isn't it swoon-worthy? (And distracting in the extreme, I must say - I keep staring at it for long periods of time and not getting any writing done!)
Right. Plotting. Or rather, plotting Book the Third. Which is a little different, I'm discovering. This isn't exactly like plotting a brand new book. It isn't even like carrying forth book one into book two.
Before I wrote WONDROUS, I have to admit, I was pretty much a "hey - let's see where this goes" kinda girl as far as my first drafts went. I didn't plot in advance. I still don't plot minutely in advance. Meaning, I don't have extensive outlines. But because I sold this series on spec, I did have to have some idea of where the story was going. (My publisher was curious, you see.)
Now that I have come to the third book however, things have changed. They'll do that. The story is still organic, after all. And, while it has mostly clung to the framework which I've set up for it in some places, in others, it's just gone on its own merry way - branching and blossoming in ways I hadn't necessarily envisioned. It's pretty cool.
But it does sort of mean that, to switch metaphors mid-steam, I've gotten to some places now that I didn't know I was going to. It means that now is the time when it would be handy to have a roadmap in the glove compartment. I have that - like I said, the publisher was curious. Only, by now, my map is a little out of date and missing a few place names. Fortunately, I've also managed to leave myself a trail of bread-crumbs, in the form of clues and hints and ivy-covered signposts throughout books one and two. The trick now, is going back and making sure I'm getting to where I'm going in a not-too-roundabout fashion.
Because Book the Third really IS where the plot thickens. But (and yet another metaphor switch - aw, hell - it's just metaphor soup at this point, okay? Go with me...) it's also where you really don't want it to calcify. You want to keep the story moving. But you also need to tie up all your loose ends and sneak in all that cool stuff that you only hinted at in two whole other books-worth of story. Plus there is all of the super cool-stuff you've learned and picked up and want to incorporate since those early days but you have to be judicious. You can't let the thing become top-heavy. It's a bit of balancing act. And I'll let you know when I get it just right. Heh.
In the meantime, I'm re-reading, taking notes, drawing diagrams, staring at walls, taking long hot showers, and trying not to get twitter-distracted. And yeah - I know. This post didn't answer a single one of your questions as to 'how'. Like I say - I'm less of a "seat of the pants" writer than I used to be... but there are times when the entire process is still a bit veiled in mystery. Even to me. Frankly, I kind of like it that way.
But it does make me late with my posts.