A: I set aside writing Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword to go over edits for the first book, which took several weeks. When I got back to the second book, I couldn’t remember what I’d been intending to do with the scene I was midway through, or where the story would go next. The idea had been plumb forgotten.
So I had to reread what I’d written. When I got to where I had stopped writing I still couldn’t remember. It felt like the story had stopped and the ideas for the world with it. My previous trick of giving it a day to come to me didn’t work this time. So each day I dabbled at the scene and added pitiful word counts to it. I spent too much time as I added, rewrote, and fleshed out the scene.
I started to wonder if my ending for the third book should be moved up in the timeline and happen in the second. Then I wondered if I did that, what would happen in book three? No es Bueno. I wanted the third book to keep its original ending. What to do?
Eventually, I sat down and pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote down the sequence of events that had already happened in the book. (It was not as detailed as the timeline I wrote for the first book which had a deadline to observe within the story.) Seeing it spelled out that way made it so easy to write down the next sequence of events… and the ones for book three.
I told you, I was both a plotter and a pantser. It takes both to create something magical.