After reaching 10,671 words, I took a break and then came back to finally write out an outline for this book. I’m three chapters in, and while I had the full story treatment written out, that’s not the same as breaking it down into an outline that allows me to pace it reasonably. In the end, I broke it down into 56 chapters. This contrasts with 35 chapters in the first book and 44 in the second. I suppose it makes sense that a book with three POV storylines instead of two would end up having more chapters.
Surprisingly, I managed to pull off a round-robin rotation in the chapters. That is, each storyline is presented in turn in the same 1-2-3 cycle, over and over. I’m tempted to offer a version of the book in which each storyline is given in full, back to back, like three books in one. But the whole point of having three storylines move in parallel is variety. Well, thematic cohesion, too!
In terms of pacing, I have a number of peaks or mini-climaxes in addition to the main ones. Chapters 25 and 26 present precipitous events that will drive the rest of the book–turning points. These account for two of the story threads. The third storyline is a bit subtler and doesn’t have such an obvious mid-book climax, although there are some events that might conceivably qualify.
The final climaxes are a bit more separated. Chapters 46, 50, and 54 give the climaxes to each of the storylines. The final chapter offers a bridge back toward the beginning of the beginning of the book, or even the entire series.
I’m still deciding exactly how I want one of the storylines to leave off, though. It’s really a question of how much setup I want to do for the next book. The other option is to do that setup in the next book as part of it. Decisions, decisions!
I’m someone who likes to estimate my book lengths, too. The first book was 35 chapters and 131,652 words. The second book was 44 chapters and 164,184 words. That works out to about 3745 words per chapter. If I keep up roughly that proportion with this book, I’m looking at a total length of around 210,000 words. Yikes! That’ll be a long book, for sure.
I think I’ve decided what story-related pages I want to add to this site first: character information! I’ve also decided that I should segregate pages by which book they are relevant to, since some may wish to avoid spoilers, and information on characters from the second book would no doubt spoil events from the first, and so on. I might see about starting on that tomorrow.