Being an author of long series, I focus a lot on the overarching plot or long game when I’m planning. This really hit home with War of Nytefall: Eulogy because of all the strings I had to lace together. I’d been planning and setting things up for this storyline since the very beginning. Of course, this is more of a plotter thing than a pantser thing. I think, which is why this post is turning towards questions later.
Personally, I like having a long game planned for a series. This is my plotter nature because it allows me to do foreshadowing and keeps me focused. I can direct characters to some extent and leave openings for deviations, but I still aim for the same finale. This is why I learned that it’s easier to have the beginning, end, and a few key points planned while the pathways are left to spontaneity. It still has a focus on having a storyline run through the whole series though.
Overarching plots can get in the way or weaken over time. If you only focus on those and draw things out for too long then the ending will fail. People will see it more like you putting the series out of its misery instead of having closure. This is where having other plotlines moving alongside the main one helps as well as each volume having its own contained tale. Think of it like a TV series where each season has a main plot that isn’t always touched on every episode. Sometimes, you get an episode designed around character or world development. This still affects the main plot by altering characters and places though. More importantly, it gives the main plot time to cool down and not overstay its welcome.
So, lets see what you think about the long game in a series.
- Do you prefer a series to focus only on the overarching plot or to give it a break at times?
- When writing, do you like to have a general idea of the main story path?
- What is one tip you would give to someone writing a long game into their series?