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I love it.

I. Love. It.


I feel honored that you have drawn such beauty from my humble descriptions.

The wavy ripples in the mantle and horse’s mane are amazing. How long in hours do you think it took you?

Aww, thank you! I’m really proud of it! I haven’t drawn a self-portrait since… elementary school and this is the first one I’m actually happy with. Besides that, I don’t draw animals a whole lot anymore, so that was a fun experience.

I don’t time myself, but if I had to take a wild guess, it would probably be around… ten hours? I think? Maybe less, maybe more, but the sketch took a lot longer than usual, but the rendering was quick. Once I got past the sketch it was fun!

However, I’m not sure I agree in regard to Tristan’s perspective on her behavior.

I see your point, which means you essentially have an unreliable narrator. His perspective makes sense for him, but it’s very subjective and even distorts some events. That’s a good thing. It means he has a strong voice.

But the audience doesn’t know that. The audience is going to take everything he says as gospel truth until proved otherwise. What really makes an unreliable narrator tick is the hints of truth that show through in the behavior of the other characters.

So, in this case it might be a conversation between Maven and Tristan (for example) Maven might ask why he’s being so brusque/unfriendly/distant/etc.  to Delphine, to which Tristan can reply how annoying he finds her, how she’s constantly prying etc. And Maven might say how Tristan has been acting different and so on and so forth. You get my point.

And maybe Delphine can get annoyed at Tristan, because he’s acting kind of unfairly toward her, from her point of view. She doesn’t know what he’s thinking or why he’s acting that way, so that would make them clash more. Basically, you need to present both sides of the argument and make the annoyance come from two sides.

That isn’t to say Tristan is completely wrong, it’s very much a matter of perspective, and there’s fault on both sides.

Then, because his eyes had been opened about his father, he was now supposed to decided to trust her and then care for her.

He’d probably have a moment where he realizes what it was like for her and that he wasn’t entirely right. Probably apologies from both sides since Delphine wasn’t being considerate of his situation. Basically, you need a moment where they work it out, they can’t just ignore what happened.

I hope I’m making sense, this is kind of hard to articulate.

One’s a main character, one is a major side character. The MC one is more of a former Jew than a current Jew though.

Man, that’s so cool! Did the MC convert? If they did, that’s a really, really interesting situation since that would be losing a huge part of their identity and probably some family members. It also depends on whether they converted to get away from the persecution or because they genuinely believe in Jesus. That’s a very cool situation with lots of potential for character arcs.

Having multiple arcs stretch across multiple books is a whole new deal than just working with a stand alone book.

I want to warn you about this, first of all. If you try to stretch a normal arc over many books, it’s going to feel stuck. I’ve never actually seen this executed well. It would mean the character is developing extremely slowly, and then the reader will get tired because it feels like nothing is changing.

The way I handled this was by using one overarching theme and covering different facets of it.

The main theme of Liorah’s arc is acceptance. The first book is acceptance by her family, the second book is accepting herself, and the third is acceptance by the tribe in general. There are some facets of each in the other books, but that’s the main one.

However, in every book, she had a seperate lie that she overcame by the end and a seperate arc. Essentially, it was written like three standalones for character arc, though each formed the foundation for the last one.

But especially if you have multiple narrators, you don’t need to have them all have an arc every book.

I have a main character/narrator who is only a narrator in the second book and has a full arc there, but doesn’t feature at all in the first book and has a smaller role in the third book.

And I have a character who was a side character in the first book, a non-narrating main character in the second book, and a narrator in the third. (He grew on me and he demanded a bigger role)

However, all of them have Liorah as a main character and a narrator. This is inherently her story. It would completely fall apart if she wasn’t there.

Of course, that’s just one approach. I’ve also seen it that there are multiple characters who have seperate arcs and seperate stories that eventually tie together.

What I’m basically trying to say is don’t try to write the series like one extremely long book split up in sections. I’ve read that and it isn’t fun, it drags in sections and seems neverending.

For plot structure, I wrote it similar to the arcs, three standalones which build upon each other.

Essentially, that means that you’ll have a catalyst at the end of each book. Not a cliffhanger, but an opening. You end some arcs and parts but open others before they’re fully ended.

So, your low point in the first book might be your catalyst for your second book. That doesn’t mean you don’t have a catalyst for the second book, that just means that the second catalyst builds off the one in the previous book.

This is insanely hard to articulate, but basically, you have to open some arcs for the next book in your third act, while also ending most of the first ones. This will make more sense when you do it though XD

From what I’ve found, having the ultimate end of the series, the climax of each book, and gist of the plot of each book planned out is necessary, but just how far do you take that? How much of the events of books 2-final did you have planned out when you started writing book 1?

In all honesty, I wrote book 1 as a standalone. Halfway through I realized I wasn’t going to get everything wrapped up and decided to write two more.

I had a very, very loose idea of the third book’s climax since I decided to make a trilogy, and as soon as I wrote the first book, I had a good idea of the middle of book 2 but no idea of what would happen in book 3.

So short answer, you don’t need to know much. You need the big climax, the beginning, and what pushes them from each book into the next, and possibly what smaller goal they accomplish in each one. The rest is best left kind of free and open.

You need to know what gets your characters from their first book self to their finale self. Those are going to be the middle books.

In the first book, you’ll probably very briefly introduce some side characters, love interests, basically, everyone who isn’t a narrator. Every important character probably has something in their past or in their character that has potential to be explored. You can do that in the middle books.

If TTD was a series, you could add subplots in the middle books about Piers and Rolant’s families, and Tumas’ past. Something along those lines. It’s a time to go deeper into the things you already set up.

It annoys me to no end when we never find out new things about the side characters. They don’t need full arcs but it’s awesome when we see more of their backstory.

There are some arcs that need more time than one book. Romance arcs and training arcs can easily take up an entire series, because they’re subplots and they work better when they get a lot of time.

You need to have smaller goals to overcome in the middle books. If you have an evil empire plot, that could be taking down the henchmen of the big baddie, villains in their own right.

The final book is bringing everyone together with everything they’ve learned and acccomplishing the big goal.

I’m the kind of person who works best when I have a ton of time to brainstorm. Brainstorming is a tab I constantly leave open and every so often it spits something at me and I write it down. If I give it enough time, I can come up with the plot to an entire novel without actively sitting down and brainstorming, which I deeply detest since it’s frustrating and unproductive.

I actually managed that with book 3. I kept all the ideas in the back of my mind and worked on it as I had time. By the time I had to outline, I had 80% of the book outlined and I just had to slot it into the right places in the structure. I have no idea how that happened but it was glorious. 

I have no clue if that made sense, but I hope it did 🙂 Feel free to ask, I’ll do my best to answer.

Annnd you got another essay you didn’t ask for XD You’d better get used to it, that always happens.

I’ll keep going in the next post since this one is so long it’s starting to lag XD

Without darkness, there is no light. If there was no nighttime, would the stars be as bright?

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