Plotting the Finale -Volume 8

Yes, you’re right, Volume 7 of The Year of the Dragon is not quite out yet – it’s in final redrafts now, hoping for a May release if all works well. But I’m already writing Volume 8 – the grand finale.

Since this is the last volume of the series, the plot structure departs from my usual “trees with many roots and branches” jumble. I have to wrap things up. Threads are joining together, number of POVs is being reduced as characters fall out of the plot one way or another, all leading to a climactic (hopefully) conclusion.

It’s not going to be too much of a spoiler to say that it looks like I’ll have a distinct three-act structure to this volume, with a pivotal moment in the middle. At least, that’s the plan. How it’s going to pan out in the months to come, remains to be seen.

My ambition is to release Volume 8 before the end of this year, together with a bundle of volumes 5-8. We’re at the end of March now. I have about 20k words of the first draft done, I’m going to need probably a hundred thousand more to fit everything in one book.

This could be an interesting year.


Plotting the draft, part 2: Volume 6, Sato’s POV

Hi Guys,

Volume 6 (which I have not yet formally announced – that’s for a future post) is coming along… slowly. I’m perhaps half-way through the first draft. Partly that’s because I was travelling again this summer, but partly, because it has the most complex and convoluted plot of all the books so far. At long last, things seem to be coming to a head in Yamato…

Earlier this year I showed you how I tried to make sense of the plot of “Chrysanthemum Seal“. I managed to fit most of it on a single piece of A5 paper.

This picture, on the other hand, shows a single plot-line of the next book (mostly POVs of Sato and Shoin).


The good news is, I already have Nagomi’s POV largely done and dusted. The bad news? Bran’s plot-line is not yet even touched upon…

Sigh. Maybe I should’ve stuck to writing novellas 😉