Since I just started in on Inferno (The Frozen Flame: Book 4), I thought I might share some of my preparation techniques. Although I’d already started an outline right after I finished book three, I needed to make sure the story elements were in place. I created a quick one-sentence list of each chapter and the key takeaways from it. This allowed me to structure the story into three acts and ensure I had enough content to fill a book.
This gave me an outline with 33 chapters (plus an epilogue), the same number as the last two books, so the length looks good. Invariably, as I write the story, this will grow, but it’s a good starting point.
Next, I listed the major plot points I want to introduce—the idea being to stop me from wandering off track. The last step, which I’m still working on, is to list each character and map out their contribution to the tale. I had planned to have several characters returning from previous books, but there’s no sense in bringing them back if they don’t serve a useful purpose.
As you can probably tell, I believe in thoroughly plotting out my books. It is not uncommon for me to have twenty to thirty pages in the outline by the time I am done.
Until next time, happy reading!
Paul Bennett, Writer of Epic Fantasy Stories.