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Maldene Behind The Scenes: How Deep Do I Plot? ANd Why?

One might ask, that with a 13-book series, how deep do I plot things? Well, I can tell you that by the time you've reached Chapter One of the first book you've already missed clues to major plot elements for the next two books. In Maldene IV I have a segment that only has its final meaning revealed at the end of Maldene IX, and at the end of Maldene XII... well, you get the idea. I plot pretty deep. Before I started writing the first Maldene novel I already knew how book 13 would come out.

But why bother? Well, especially for an epic of this size, the only way of making everything work is to know where you're going ahead of time. It allows me to know where to direct the short-term plots, to know why the characters will do what they do, and to know where I can plant some clues and what sorts of clues they can be. It also means that everything you read will be consistent, connected, and well thought out.

So, are there any accidental scenes? Any random stuff that leads nowhere? Well, there might be a few distractions here and there, and there are times when I sort of go with the flow when inspiration hits me. But this sort of planning mainly means that the innocent "random" scene you'd read earlier could suddenly have some new significance much farther down the road. It's just a matter of keeping your eyes open while you read.

So, paranoid yet?

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