A New Story Idea and Planning vs. Pantsing

Hey guys!

I’ve spent the last couple of days planning out a new trilogy that I sort of started a few weeks ago, but before I decided to tangle all their plots together and make them all overlap (which is definitely the fun part!)

So remember Heart of the Baenor, which I wrote for Camp NaNoWriMo? Well, I plan on finishing that next month for July Camp, and then I’m starting on this new trilogy, which takes place three years after HotB. The first book focuses on Catessa in a new place (I won’t say too much more to avoid spoiling anything), and she’s one of three MCs, each in a different of three countries that are at war with each other. Anyway, Catessa catalysts the war, but not on her own plans.

The MC of the second book is the king’s Paladin in Mandoria (I know that country wasn’t mentioned in the Deep Worldbuilding Project. It decided to spring up after that and will take a little bit to get caught up to its neighbors), who has just inherited powers she doesn’t feel ready for, since her mentor recently passed away.

The MC of the third book is going to be my first character with a negative character arc, and she both excites and terrifies me. She’s a shapeshifter, one of very, very few in Themar, and she becomes friends with the prince of Roenor after she steals his crown (long story which will be explained in… the story.)

These three books are all taking place simultaneously, which makes it crucial for me to plan everything out pretty well in-depth so that I don’t mess anything up, and stick to that plan with every bit of willpower in me (but since it’s a really cool plan anyway it might not be so hard. ;))

The temporary title of the series is The Dark War Trilogy, which I like more every time I say it.

Planning this is a really interesting experience for me, since I don’t have a lot of experience with planning. I’ve been a pantser, or at the very least a plantser, for the majority of my writing “career.” I’ve planned a couple of books with the Hero’s Journey method, both of which are very old and I cringe to read, and I outlined HotB before I started it, but for the most part I don’t tend to plan much. Well with this one I’m working on a timeline (Aeon Timeline has been extremely helpful), and I’m going to write an outline, which may be similar to the one I did for HotB with just short explanations of key scenes in each chapter, or it might be more detailed.

Putting together a timeline has been a lot of fun, because I’m playing around with precision in the timing of things. For instance, two characters lose people they care about at the exact same time, and then end up talking about it (which will be a very tense conversation), and then splitting for a few days before one of them comes back a lot harder. And all of the assassinations that happen take place at the exact same time of night. All the successful ones, anyway. Being precise can be very, very fun, and I can make my characters suffer more with more precision, lol. #LifeofaPSK

I haven’t planned quite enough stories ahead of time to say whether planning or pantsing works better for me, but I’ve been more excited and had more motivation on the ones I’ve planned beforehand lately. It could just be coincidence, we’ll have to see, but I’m going to continue planning things for a while and see what happens, I think.

‘Til next time!

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