I think that image sums up how I feel about plotting my series right now. I have around fourteen viewpoint characters between my husband (who plans on writing some in this series, too) and I. The metaplot is substantial, but certainly not excessively convoluted. But finding out how everyone ties together into it, and what to reveal in which book when is a lot. Particularly since we have to introduce some POV characters before some events.
When doing series plotting, I always look to Avatar: the Last Airbender for advice because it is, in my mind, the best recent example of the three-act structure in action. I can plot each episode, each season, and the entire series on the beat sheet, which is pretty impressive in all honesty. That tight pacing and storytelling is brilliant, and it is the number one example I always return to when considering the plot.
I’m obviously not going to give you spoilers on my metaplot. That would just be…well…the first book’s not even OUT yet!
I’ve been doing most of that plotting on pen and paper. Or close enough thereto–I use a Rocketbook because between D&D, writing, and life, I used to keep dozens of notebooks and never get anywhere with them. I kept losing all of them and couldn’t find the one I needed when I needed it, so making the switch was great. I love my Rocketbook and wouldn’t go anywhere without it.
There are many methods to plotting things out, including index cards, software, mind mapping, the Beat Sheet (my preferred method), the Snowflake method, and many others. For me, paper and the Beat Sheet are my go-to pairing. I don’t do pantsing because with my ADHD, I’d wander off into the weeds and get lost or write something incomprehensible. I know. I’ve done it. The manuscripts I have from high school are, well. . . Let’s not talk about those. ‘Tis a silly place.
I don’t yet know how many books are going to be in the series yet, but I know it’s going to be more than four, since I’m at four for the first act of the series overall. And since act two is usually twice as long as act one, we’re looking at a lot of real estate. That isn’t to say it won’t be twice as many NOVELS, but it has a lot of ground to cover in terms of the story itself. I should probably put up a cork board somewhere, but then I run the risk of becoming the living embodiment of the picture at the top of this blog post.
I don’t know, maybe “sleepless conspiracy nut” will be in next year.