Thoughts About Meta-Plot

After reading K.A. Stewart’s blog post series on writing Series (links available here), I’ve been thinking about the broader scale plot for my YA trilogy, trying to suss out more of the plot in Book 2.  What is the bad guy up to here?  Stewart talks about this idea of “meta-plot”, the overarching plot of a series of books (assuming there is one, and with what I’m doing there is, or should be), and how it’s almost imperative that authors do at least some planning out of that meta-plot so that they know what clues to seed where.

This is not news to me.  I had a gut instinct that I needed to do this on Totem (the YA) because, hey, trilogies are all one big story broken up into three parts, right?  I’ve been putting some effort into looking at the story structure of the whole thing, figuring out what the first plot point, midpoint, and second plot points are for the whole BIG story.  I haven’t gotten too far, though Book 1 is pretty clear.

But I was thinking about this whole idea of meta-plot in the shower this morning.  Okay, thinking might be too strong a word.  Floating beneath the spray in a state of semiconsciousness might be more accurate.  Anyway, out of the void I was struck by the idea that I need to give some thought to the meta-plot of my Mirus series.  I have no idea how many books there will be, but there IS an overarching plot of a stop the apocalypse nature that SHOULD flow through all of them.

It doesn’t appear at all in HiS.  There are a few reasons for this.  One: When I first conceived of the story, I didn’t have any idea what the meta-plot would be.  Two: When it did occur to me, I thought I would introduce the elements of this world slowly.  Start with one of the races of paranormal beings and mention the larger governmental bodies of those beings before actually getting down into the nitty gritty of showing more of it in later books.  This is not a bad way to approach a series that will have a lot of components.  It’s like the camera beginning focusing in on this detail and then pulling back to reveal the larger picture.  My CP is taking this approach to her series, and I think it’s a good one.  Three: Once I did envision the whole stop the apocalypse kind of metaplot, I didn’t know how this particular book was going to fit in with that.

So as I’m struggling toward consciousness in the shower this morning it hits me that HiS is not the first book.

Now this may or may not be the case, but for the sake of looking for answers as to how to fix what I feel is missing from HiS, I’ll follow the thought.  See, my heroine Marley has a cousin.  She doesn’t know she has a cousin.  She’s an orphan as far as she knows, and doesn’t know anything about the rest of her family or what happened to them or why they gave her up.  But she does have this cousin, Isla.  And Isla is clairvoyant.  Due to some major stuff that went down when they were both very small, neither Marley nor Isla knows what they are.  I knew Isla was going to get a book.  And I know it begins with her waking up from a vision dream knowing that someone is coming for her and somebody breaking in ahead of the other someones to save her.  One of the Shadow Walkers.  And that’s about all I know about it, except that Isla (or rather her visions) is one of the keys to stopping the apocalypse.

How does this tie in to HiS?  No freaking clue.  But I figure it’s something worth thinking about.  And I’m considering the possibility that it’s Isla’s story that comes first.

I am, by the way, presently on my way to Omaha for Oktoberfest this weekend (yay for scheduled posting), so it’s quite possible I will be internet dark for a few days.  Have a great weekend!

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