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Jul 1, 2010

Trilogies, Quartets, Septets

I haven't settled on how many books should be in the Dindi series yet. As I've said, the story arc is plotted, and much of it is written, but how much is "much"? Stories are fractal. I can always work in new complications.

When I broke the megabook into a series, for some reason, it would not work as a trilogy. I decided it had to be seven books, although I knew a septet would require quite a lot of additional writing. At that time, I was writing full time.

Now that my writing time is more constrained, I've considered this question again. I still can't seem to work the story into a trilogy, unfortunately.

I wanted the number of books in the series to fit the "color magic" in the story. So the seven book series would have looked like this:

Book 1: Yellow
Book 2: Green
Book 3: Purple
Book 4: Blue
Book 5: Orange
Book 6: Red
Book 7: Black

I could, however, divide the series into only four books, highlighting the conflicts between colors:

Book 1: Yellow/Blue
Book 2: Green/Red
Book 3: Purple/Orange
Book 4: Black/White

One distinct advantage of the Quartet idea is that it means the series is automatically closer to completion. My hard limit on word count is 120,000 words (per book), but in theory I am aiming at a word count between 90,000 and 110,000. (You'll notice I barely squeezed by on Book 1.) This means my drafts of the remaining books are substantial.

Book 1: 119,000 - Complete
Book 2: 86,000 - Needs new ending
Book 3: 68,000 - Needs new beginning
Book 4: 60,000 - Needs new middle

In the interest of completing the entire series this summer (ha), I think I might go ahead and work on the assumption this is how I'm going to go with it. I'll drop some tangent plotlines, perhaps even a few characters I had planned on developing further. If I really feel so inspired that I can't stop myself from writing their stories, that's okay too. I don't mind, in theory, going back to the seven book model. For now, though, I think this plan works.


Stephanie McGee said...

Good luck! I personally like a good quadrilogy/quartet. Hope it all goes smoothly for you!

Ban said...

I admire your ability to mix so many elements together in your work. It's hard enough completing a MS without incorporating color, smell, taste and other focal themes !

scott g.f.bailey said...

I like the colors idea. You could have "The Yellow Book of Dindi," "The Green Book of Dindi" all the way through to "The Black Book of Dindi."