This is something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of months. I have a character I like, and four separate stories that follow each other to build into a bigger character/story arc. Very early days yet.
Current status: timelining
7-Aug-17 07:35: I’m working on the four stories, building up descriptions of the events in the form of a dozen or two paragraphs for each. The first one is essentially complete; the second is mostly there but needs more detail for the ending; the third is something like halfway done; the fourth is nothing more than a vague outline at the moment.
19-Aug-17 08:04: I have the stories complete to the point where I’m about to start building timelines TODAY.
20-Aug-17 14:41: I made a start on the first pass of the timeline for the first story. Seventeen scenes timelined so far.
27-Aug-17 10:46: Oops. I jumped the gun a bit—I realised the story wasn’t right so I’ve stopped with the timelining and gone back to story building. There were things that were just wrong, and it’s meant that the entire second story has been ripped out and replaced with a new one that fits better with the whole four-story arc, and that in turn means changes to the other three stories to get everything working together. I can see this taking at the very least a couple of weeks of building, revising, refining, and so on before it’ll be in proper shape and I can get back to the timeline.
16-Sep-17 08:37: I got the stories in shape to the point where I’m ready to go back to building timelines. Luckily the first story had minimal changes (the real changes involve an all-new second story and major work on the fourth) so the work I’d done on the timeline is mostly still good. For all four books I’m looking at a total scene count of around five hundred. So far, I have eighteen. A long way to go.