Friday, September 11, 2015

Plotting a Sequel

I had another busy day of brain thunderstorming, and I had the "duh!" moment of realizing that one problem with the plot outline I was trying to put together was that I hadn't stopped to think about what the goals of the various characters and factions were. Once I did that, it fell into place a lot better because it made the events make sense. I can't just look at what the protagonists' goals are. I have to look at what's going on with the other people and with the antagonists. Today's task will be digging more into what the antagonists are doing.

Outlining the plot for a sequel is a little different than a first book because some of the steps have already taken place in the first book. The "Ordinary World" segment is mostly about establishing the new normal after the events in the first book. There may not need to be a new "Call to Adventure" in the sequel, depending on how the first book ended. If the first book ending was a "whew, that's over, now back to normal!" then you might need all the initial steps, including the call and refusal of the call. But if the first book ending was more "we may have won this round, but it's only just starting," then the call from the first book can carry over and there's no need for the refusal/mentor, etc., stages. The hero is already over the threshold. But then that makes structuring and pacing a little more difficult.

But I'm seeing events play out and I'm getting back into that world, which is fun and exciting.

It's been interesting to look at my old synopsis for this sequel, written while I was still writing the first book, and see how much has changed. I think my opinions of some of the characters have changed. This was before I decided the book was YA, so there's a different focus. And I've learned so much as an author since then. If I wrote the book I outlined, it would be rather boring. I want a bit more adventure.

In other news, as a television reminder service, Continuum starts again tonight on SyFy, but in the post-prime time slot, at 10 Central. I'm glad they're getting the chance to wrap up the story because that was a big cliffhanger. I have this thing for time travel and seeing the repercussions of fiddling with the past, and this show scratches that itch. If I can stay awake that long. I hope it'll be OnDemand.

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