Building a series from the ground up

Before I even started the book, I decided I was going to put paranormal stories aside after I finished Her Midnight Hunter. Right now, I’m hoping to be done with it in August, so that I can tackle a new project in the fall.

My first instinct when returning to fantasy stories is to pick up Rune’s series–my Snakesblood Saga–and work on it more. Then I remember the whole series has been drafted, and the series needs to be put away for a while after a round of unsuccessful queries and revisions. It’s clear it must still have problems, or else it would have gone somewhere. I’m still sure I can fix it, but sometimes what’s needed most in situations like those is more experience.

I considered picking up another shelved project to work on it, but it’s a standalone novel and what I really need is more experience writing an epic series. Writing and fixing a standalone novel won’t help me solve problems in a series. So instead, I sat down for a brainstorming session and came up with something totally new. I’ll be building a new fantasy series from the ground up, going back to relying heavily on the things that originally inspired me most, and hopefully learning what I need to fix Rune’s books along the way.

I started with a framework idea for an overarching story line, then started developing characters. While I’m trying to commit everything to paper, I’ll be committing everything to my blog, too, sharing the process of bringing a whole new fantasy world (and its inhabitants) to life.

I’m doing sketches for concept art, as well, so I’ll be sharing that as I go along, and I’ll come back and update this post as a master list of subjects I cover.

In no particular order, here are a few subjects I know I’m going to go over:

  • The main characters, their countries, and development
  • Creating a new, non-Earth world, and what’s important to plan for fantasy
  • Creating a world map
  • Developing a magic system
  • Developing magic items
  • Planning a full series and number of books
  • Developing an overall theme

I’m sure some other things will come to mind, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

I’ve spent a bit looking at various lists of world building questions and I’ll probably answer a few here and there. One of the biggest lists comes from SFWA, but by all means, if anyone thinks of any questions or subjects you’d like me to specifically address as I go along, please leave a comment and let me know!

What do you want to see most as the series develops?

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