Danbling and Overthinging

See? I take photos of clouds in other places, too.

Ski slopes are funny places in the summertime, all denuded and over bright. But the clouds going by – ah, yes.

So, I’m getting myself back into the writing groove. Trying to plan and be all strategic-like. This is SO not my forte. You all know I envy those folks who plan out what they’re writing. I often delude myself into thinking I could be one of them. How hard can it be to plot a series arc?

Um, pretty damn hard, it turns out.

See, I have this plan (which I mentioned before, so sorry if this is too repetitive – go ahead, roll your eyes at me, I deserve it). Once I get the substantive edits on Obsidian from fabulous editor, Deb (she made noises about modifying the Liam scenes – what do you want to bet they want me to make him a more viable love interest? KAK is already Team Liam and she hasn’t even read the whole thing…), they’re predicted for late October, so I have that time blocked out. Then I’ll dive into the sequel, Aquamarine.

I’ve always thought Obsidian would be the first of a series. Like, um, mumble mumble maybe seven books long mumble.

I know.

I KNOW, okay?

Never let it be said that I’m not ambitious. You could add in other words, too, and I couldn’t argue with you.

The problem is, though I have this vague, general idea of how the story will progress and the big ideas of what will happen, they don’t parse out into actual plots. So, naturally, I’ve been bugging my CPs about this. I asked Marcella if she thought all series should be trilogies at most (I could swear I heard her say this once) and she said I’m asking the wrong girl since she’s working on a five-book series. I bugged Laura about it while she was tired and had been drinking margaritas. She said that the danger with series arc plotting is overthinging it. She advised that I simply keep notes on my plot threads, so as not to leave anything danbling.

They both patted me soothingly on the head (They might even have typed ~pat pat pat~ into the IM window.) and told me my process is fine.

But I’m still not sure how I’m going to do this. Any advice?

Otherwise, I’ll just be here, danbling and overthinging.

9 Replies to “Danbling and Overthinging”

  1. You’ve a five-year plan for your future, right? Milestones you want to hit, goals you want to achieve? Sound familiar, great Queen of the Spreadsheets?

    Your protag should too. Like Laura said, you don’t want to get too into the weeds on the series plan. However, you need to know where the series is going so your protag can keep working towards the Uber goal. That will give the readers a reason to look forward to the next book(s).

    1. Actually, KAK, despite the spreadsheets and life-planning, I do *not* set five-year goals. I have a whole philosophy about that, which likely bleeds in my plotting stuff. So that’s enlightening.

  2. Don’t you want an overall story arc (plot) or a story arc for your heroine (character)? I’m working on a new trilogy and I know who my girl is when I start the first book and where she will end up by the end of book three. But it’s vague. 😀 I say go with your vague idea. Sometimes that will give you the best material while writing. And if this has typos it’s cuz I’ve been drinking and I’m on my iPhone. Haha

    1. That’s what everyone says, MM. I’m like you – I have a vague and general idea. I just sometimes overthing and want to know MORE than that. But I’m just not one of those writers who gets to know before I write it.

      (and excellent drunk typing there!)

  3. I am SO glad to get the context for danbling and overthinging. So glad. Transitive verb. Definitely. 😀 So. Series. I’m all for different characters for each book. It’s the only way I survive…though that may be about to change. Regardless. The arc of my series isn’t the internal conflict of one character. There’s a reason for that. I think we’ve chatted about it, so I won’t nameLKHnames here. It’s an external conflict driving characters through their internals. Don’t know if that helps at all, but that was my solution. Good luck. Really.

    1. That’s an interesting point, Marcella. What I have in mind for my Obsidian series – oh god, now I need to think up a series name, don’t I? – is a continuing arc of both internal for the heroine, and a couple of other characters, as well as her external conflict. I should thing about it that way.

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