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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Mashiara Sedai

Brainstorming session....

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Hi DM writers!  I've hit a bit of a snag in my brainstorming.  I recently sold a book where the setting is a contemporary magical college in Brighton, England.  My publisher wants me to turn it into a series!  They like the idea of a magical school of adults.  I've got a few ideas and two outlines in the works, but I need help thinking up shenanigans college-aged magicians can get into!

 

HELP!

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we talking pranks or more involved-envelop a whole story type thing?

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Either or.  One outline I've started features them on summer vacation and supernatural things abduct them from Florida.  The other begins where the first left off--at school around Thanksgiving. 

 

I need some seriously BIG plots for them to get up to at school (magical diseases, threats from outside magicians, maybe monsters since the first has a demon attack them).

 

I've never done a series before, so I need to give some serious thought to overall themes and character arcs I'd like to see in the next two-three novels.

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rival schools? tons to be done with those. 

 

also things involving some particular majors. there has to be times when spells or what have you go horribly awry. pranks could be anything from turning people/furniture into different things to teleporting whole rooms elsewhere. 

 

also what about fraternities? 

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All great ideas!


The thing I'm struggling with is timing of the school year.  I want to avoid Harry Potter-esque Everything-Happens-At-The-End-Of-The-School-Year cliche.  *lol*  So I need to build good starting and stopping points throughout the school year.  And then, if too many things happen, then it sort of stops the suspension of disbelief. Like, how many things can happen to this one guy (my main character).  But if I skip huge chunks of time--ie: the next book being the one from summer vacation--I've lost so much valuable time to tell stories.

 

Any advice on this dilemma?  

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think of it all as semesters. or even quarters. what happens in one quarter of the school year, what happens in the next. the thing about books is that generally speaking readers don't keep a running record of time between books. like for instance the dresden files. i have NO idea how much time has passed between the first book and the fourth. i'm sure he says and it's probably no more than a year or two, and a LOT of crap happens. 

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Hmmm, that's a good point, @Cross!  I guess I'm putting too much thought into it.  I'm the type that needs a concrete, solid plan to move forward, and I guess if I don't have the exact amount of books I want to write and an exact idea of when they take place within the timeline, I can't move forward.  

 

Luckily, this publisher is on the slow side, so I've got brainstorming time.  It'll come if I let it rumble around in my head long enough.

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Sounds like you need a multi boss/plot with lots of sub bosses/plots.  

 

My current series is broken down into 2 arcs with 4 subplots all working towards the one end defeat the bad guy.  But knowing nox he won't follow the generic outline to a t.

 

The first book being not thought of as a series in this case would need to get a bigger why.  Why did these events happen on a larger scale?   Who could have been pulling strings? And why?

 

Then after i have these big main points. I work on the subplots for each story.  Where each book defeats a sub boss untill you get to the big boss.  If ever.  

 

My first book in the series revolves personally around the love of his life coming back into his life as part of the bigger plot.  Even though they haven't see each other in 5 years.  The next book deals with a very personal matter that does touch the main plot but is all about destroying his inner demon... Quite literally.

 

And in each book they defeat a sub boss.  The reason the story takes place.

 

My four book arc takes place in 2 months.  But look at the wheel of Time.  14 books that takes place in two years.  A lot happened in those 2 years. Realistic.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Just make sure you don't switch seasons quickly or you will lose those other moments in between.  We as readers won't care really how much time passes as long as it's logical.  As a writer timing is everything.  I have a few timeline issues I need to fix.  Because the first draft I skew accidentally when writing looked at the wrong calendar.

 

I use Pinterest to find prompts when I'm looking for an idea on what type of sub story I want to tell.

 

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Yeah a mid-boss and final boss analogy makes sense.  I’d have to tie the final boss into the plot of the first book—the demon they banished will have to make another appearance.

 

So I need to think of mid-bosses to get me through the next two books (if I do one per school year).

 

It basically comes down to me forming ideas, so I’ll have to let the characters, locations, and circumstances I know bounce in my head until some new ideas ripen into useable plots.

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Pintrest can have some great prompts.  I'll share my board as it's mostly magical in nature and might spawn some plot ideas.  But it's not easy to grab on my phone.... But my pintrest is linked in the sidebar... It'll be the writing prompt board. 

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