Organizing a Multiple Book Fantasy Series?

Hey all!

I just finished the first novel of a seven book fantasy series (insert jubilant celebrations here!) — I have about 2.5 years worth of notes about the world, the peoples, concepts, upcoming events, plot, concepts - yadda yadda …

I write best in a pantser way … but I know I need to organize and get some structure to all of these details before I start Book 2 – and then keep it up as I go on …

Anyone know of some resources I can look into for different ways to organize all your details? I don’t need info on how to develop a storyline or long-term plotting … just best ways to organize what is already there. (Already have character bio sheets and a timeline in the works.)

Appreciate you guys so very much!!!

Rachel

How did you organize yourself for the first novel? You finished it, so you were successful. Just do it again.

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Thanks for the congrats – as I pantser – I didn’t organize at all. I just wrote and revised for 2.5 years until it was done.

Along the way I amassed a ton of notes (mentioned in my first post) that are sitting in Scrivener, begging to be organized so I can continue the series as consistently and efficiently as possible.

Unfortunately, I don’t know you. :slightly_smiling_face: What I do know for sure is that some people tend to “over-organize” things. They spend more time on preparation than on the actual task. Unaware of all the circumstances, my advice is to have faith in yourself and just get started. Maybe you’ll come up with a solution along the way. Just write, leave gaps, fill them later when you think of the right thing … write … write … write!

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Categorise your research according to topics in the Research folders.
One topic might be Resources, create a sub folder for that. In Resources store your info on water supply, climate, power sources, those types of things—you’d know best.
In the Resources folder document list your resources in alphabetical order and create links to your items from your list—right click > Link to document.
Work with Document Bookmarks. Say you have a Scene where you discuss one or more resources, add the Resources folder with links to Document Bookmarks in the Inspector.
That way you have info at your fingertips while working in your WIP, never having to leave the editor, but referencing there and then from the Inspector: Bookmarks.
Your links can open in Quick Reference Panels or as a split editor.
It’s how you eat an elephant—in little chunks.
BTW. I too am a pantser. Don’t let anyone tell you research material is not writing. It’s how you add depth to your story world.

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Congratulations! :tada:

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First things first - Congratulations!! :partying_face:

(edited - sent before I finished :person_facepalming:)

I second Kevitek57’s suggestion about using bookmark documents in your Inspector and using document links on those.

The beauty of this system is that instead of having an exorbitant amount of single bookmarks, you end up with what looks like a TOC for each category - say characters, locations, timelines and anything else useful. IMO this is a great way to sort/file your stuff to get you started. YMMV :blush:

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I use scapple with scrivener and have character boards with a board underneath each character for notes on next book.
I wrote a sci-fi trilogy finished( now want to approach an agent). For each book did a chactecter arc ( overt goal / overt obstacles/ inner need or want/ inner obstacle the lie.
For each book as added details I marked with a comment in scrivener and noted in scapple and where in book occurred. I had location boards and as added details as story went on again comments and noted where new info came in.
I added boards for crucial aspects of my world. The scapple board built as novels progressed. I also did each novel in own book and had idea folder so as I wrote as new future ideas come to me can add for later.
Would be glad to discuss more if want.

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Congratulations!

Fellow pantser here. Writing the outline is much easier after the book is finished, isn’t it?

First, make a backup of the finished project. Put it in a safe place.

Then, use the outline that you now have to organize your research materials. What are the important settings? Where do they appear, both in the book itself and in the research notes? What about characters? What do they wear? What language do they speak? And so on.

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Hello All – thank you so much for your input and for your kind and encouraging words! So grateful for you! I was able to work some structure into my note system and I am digging into Aeon Timeline 3 – which offers exactly what I needed apart from Scrivener. A but of a learning curve but welllll worth it. Thank you again for pitching in and for all the cheer! - Rachel

Obsidian, which you can get for free, receives a lot of praise. you can put in various plug-ins into Obsidian, in addition to the functions that the baseline app has.

I do find it ironic that you describe yourself as a pantser, but, not only do you know that you have started a series, but you know how many books int eh series!

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