QUESTION: Multiple storylines… how best to write them?


I’ve outlined the whole storyline for the protagonist Kara for the first two books of the trilogy. I have a general idea of how I want the storyline to go for the companion protagonist Salomé for the first book, but that hasn’t been made into a concrete outline yet. For those of you who have worked with multiple storylines before, do you recommend writing a draft of each storyline in its entirety? Or do you recommend writing the draft of both storylines together?

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7 responses to “QUESTION: Multiple storylines… how best to write them?

  1. Rough sketch for each separately but main outline with both integrated.

  2. I recommend writing the a draft outline for the first book and a skeletal outline for books 2 & 3. If while writing the actual 1st book, you think of something critical to book 2 or 3, add a note to the skeletal outline, referencing the relevant chapter or scene of book 1 that makes the issue a an important one. Drop the note and then get back to writing book 1.

    Spending too much time drafting deep outlines for 2 & 3 wastes time that would be better spent completing novel 1. Besides, Book 1 may be changed significantly by your editor or other persons involved in the publishing process. If so, the other outlines would become useless.

  3. Thank you, BonSue! 🙂

  4. Well, BonSue just took the words out of my mouth so I won’t reiterate. Now write the book.

    In my trilogy, there is the main plot and 2 subplots that run side-by-side. I have basic outlines for novels 2 & 3 – stuff I’d like to see happen – but it’s like BonSue said, plots may change as you go along. Wasting too much time on plotting future stories will never allow you to finish story 1.

  5. I agree with Iamvickieroberts, but also also Bonsue Brandvik. You need to get your book written. The outline is there to keep notes in case you change the path of your story and where you characters are going. Wishing you all the best with your book

  6. Thanks so much, Jen and Gilbert. It’s so helpful to have the support and advice of those who have walked the road before me. I really can’t thank you enough.

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