Making good progress on the mythology, which I worked on Sunday night. There are still different aspects of it that need fleshing out. Last night I wrote about 3500 words detailing the last major issue in the mythology, which is very important for linking the stories together now that I'm planning on a series. I'll work on this again tonight, and when finished should have a plan for the series.
The key concept helping me right now is EXTRAPOLATION. Given a part of the story, can you figure out what other parts go with it?
To help me in this I am remembering my 12-step outline based on the 3-act structure. I am asking myself questions like "what is the big story question?" and "what big conflict will it come to at the end of the series?" and "which characters will be essential in solving this conflict?", etc. Instead of doing this on the story level within the framework of one novel, I am doing this on the series level, creating the overarching story that will guide the individual volumes.
As I create all this information, I realize that some of it will be revealed early, some of it withheld and not revealed until later volumes. I have to see each story as it will seem to the Reader at the time, focusing on the story questions that are raised and how they will be answered, giving enough information to satisfy, piquing the Readers' curiosity to learn more, and working in foreshadowing for larger things to come. It's fun to see how this fits together. A complex puzzle, to be sure.
The work is very exciting, at times thrilling. This extra time spent developing the mythology, not settling for what works but seeking what is better, more interesting, more meaningful, is generating some really amazing material that I had never envisioned at the outset. The story is certainly growing, maturing, coming into its own. It just takes time and TLC.
The planning work is nearly done. I hope to wrap it up tonight or after one more night as I am eager to start on the second draft of THE REFLECTING STONE. The work I did the other night on the internal plot, the growth of the main character, will guide that rewrite. The external plot is fairly solid. Only a few minor events will be shuffled around, and that in order to bring out the internal development of the main character. Having this mythology work complete will also help whenever this story touches on the various aspects of it. It does affect the story in some places very directly, in other places indirectly. Again, what I'm creating now is consistent with what I already developed and wrote before; I'm just expanding on it, enriching it. So, the differences in this second draft will not be so great that they upset the apple cart. It's more a matter of revising the exposition and fine-tuning the goals, motivations, and attitudes of certain characters during certain moments.