(Stretching a bit there, maybe? I couldn’t come up with anything else for J.)
But, whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, sometimes story plots really do feel like jigsaw puzzles. Those really, really big, 1,500 piece ones. And to make matters worse, it’s of an abstract painting.
I’m currently going through this whole jigsaw-puzzle thing with my urban fantasy series that I thought I had the plot for. But research that I’m doing (rather belatedly) has given me all sorts of new ideas. Thankfully the first book doesn’t really need much updating to add in all these new ideas, as a lot of the stuff introduced in the later books will be new to almost all the characters.
Now I just have to figure out how it all ties together.
Part of the reason I’ve stalled on it a little is because I’ve never had to do this with a series before. All of the books I’ve written since I started writing seriously have been stand-alones. Sometimes those standalones tied into other novels, but for the most part it was the one novel, done, move on to the next plot and set of characters. In the Underworld Mythos, I have all these over-arching plot threads that need to be tied together, foreshadowing that needs to be done in order to make later things make sense, and all sorts of tangles and snarls that need working out.
My approach thus far has been to sort out all my notes from the series into their separate books. I think next, I will plot out each book, writing each plot point on 3×5 note cards. Then I’ll probably spend several days sitting on my office floor, surrounded by notecards, re-arranging and throwing away. I’m sure I’ll end up tweaking each book as I get around to writing it, but at least I’ll have an idea of where everything goes.
How do you go about plotting your books and tying everything together?