Two Key Structures for a Trilogy
How do you plot and plan a trilogy? Based on last week’s blog, we learned about the three popular ways to structure your series: Dynamic, Static, and Anthology. Here is a quick recap on that to jump into the Two KEY structures for a Trilogy.
1. DYNAMIC TRILOGIES
People are the most familiar with this style (and it is a GREAT way to tell a story). The main character goes on a journey in book one as one person and emerges at the end of each book changed until the transformation is complete at the final book. The main character, through physical and external challenges, experiences internal changes. They are forced to overcome their weaknesses, fears, flaws, or victimhood. Now mind you, the secondary characters can experience growth in all of these aspects and should, to a degree, make the dynamic trilogy work.
2. STATIC TRILOGIES
Your character is established and doesn’t undergo any emotional change. Still, they keep firm to who they are while facing all the craziness about them: doubts, fears, temptations throughout the trilogy. This is known as the static arc, and it is well known in series like Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, or
Agatha Christie’s novels.
Think about Sherlock and Dr. Watson. We know who is the leader and who is the support. We see Sherlock’s brilliance and madness and the calm yet feisty Dr. Watson’s strength to balance Sherlock. Together with their well-established characteristics, we as the reader can go through mystery after mystery, knowing that they will help us to solve the challenge. There is real adventure in this.
3. ANTHOLOGY SERIES
The fantasyland or setting drives this series. Each book can stand alone, and sometimes the characters can jump in and out of books, but you don’t have to read these in order.
Think about how the Chronicles of Narnia works. If you don’t read the first book, you are not lost to how the White Witch came about; you accept her. However, if you want to learn her back story, you go back and read the first book.
Ready for today’s KEY STRUCTURES?
Two Key Structures for a Trilogy
How do you plot and plan a trilogy? What makes a trilogy popular? It’s the ease that a reader can fall into the story and not put it down. The story and characters have captured the reader emotionally (positively or negatively), and the reader emerges from the time invested in your book with questions, growth, satisfaction, and wanting more. Authors, this is your job to satisfy and impact your readers.
Marketing Tip: Develop keywords, themes, and topics and check them out through https://www.wordtracker.com/ or through https://k-lytics.com/ to know what type of book you should write before writing it. That way, you can build your email list of fans, take them along your writing journey, and when it is time to launch— you have an audience ready to buy your work.
Let’s break it into two manageable sections so that you can focus on the story to have your readers come begging for more.
1. COMPLEX ARCS
Each book is broken into a beginning, middle, and end. The central conflict in each book is resolved . . .almost. There are hints and threads of tension carrying into each book to bring the cohesiveness together.
Meanwhile, there is a larger conflict that the readers know about, and it slowly plays out its own beginning, middle, and end throughout the series. I can see why it is called complex! But look at the breakdown example with The Hunger Games Trilogy, and you will see what I mean.
First, I break these complex arcs into a Seven/Eight plot structure credit given to Dan Wells and Syd Field.