Optimism is NOT Arrogance

Arrogance is the belief that you are BETTER than others. Optimism is the belief that you have the same CHANCE as others. We all have the chance to achieve our dreams. Don't ever let anyone tell you differently.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Next Steps - Plotting Out the Series

Ok, my book is one of five in a series, I think.  I have a pretty good idea where it's going, but Special Agent CB wants a summary of the next two or three books so that editors can see my ideas.  This is gonna be tricky:  I need to keep it high enough level to convey the character and story arcs, but without having all the detail that requires hours upon hours of study and research.

Here's what I did.  On my bulletin board (what?  You don't have a bulletin board for plotting out stories?  GET ONE!  Ok, sorry, didn't mean to shout - but a visualization of your story can be VERY helpful.  Sorry, where was I?)

Oh, ok, so on my bulletin board I have across the top index cards marking columns for BOOK 1 through BOOK 5.  Then down the left side I have a card for each major character, the time the book is centered around (remember, I'm writing a time travel series, so I need to know that), and the alternative history or the change that occurs in that time period.  That's kind of the recurring theme in my series.

Now, what I can do, is plot out across the row what happens at a high level to each character - their arc.

For Harry Potter, if you've read the series, you can start to see how he changes in each book at a very high level:  young wide-eyed naive kid in book one to army leader and growing young man in book seven.  J.K. Rowlings has said that she knew the complete story before she wrote the first book, and I believe her.  You have to begin with the end in mind.

So, that's where I'm at now.  My goal?  By end of next week I'll have the second book summary written, and the week after that the third book summary.  The third book takes place in WWI, which is something I need to learn A LOT about, so I'm giving myself some time.

Hopefully by then I'll have an editor wanting to see the summaries along with the manuscript!  :)

At least, I'm OPTIMISTIC I will!  Later!

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