Note that this post has !!!SPOILERS!!! for the first fourteen books in FROSTBORN.
For the last FROSTBORN retrospective I talked about things I improvised, but today I’m going to reminisce about all the things I planned in the series.
There were a lot of them. 🙂
FROSTBORN was the first series that I planned to be self-published from the beginning. At various times from 2005 to 2010 I tried to get SOUL OF TYRANTS, GHOST IN THE FLAMES, GHOST IN THE BLOOD, and THE THIRD SOUL published traditionally. Because of that, those series tended to develop rather organically after I self-published them, since when I originally wrote the books I didn’t have a long-term plan other than “try to get these books published”.
But I always planned for FROSTBORN to be self-published, so I was able to outline it from beginning to end with confidence that I would be able to do what I wanted. This let me build in a lot of foreshadowing. Many people have commented favorably on all the foreshadowing in FROSTBORN, and most of it was on purpose.
Some things changed during the writing, of course, but I had always planned out the entire series from the beginning. That made it possible to work in a great deal of foreshadowing, since I always knew certain events were going to happen. The Dragon Knight, the Keeper, the Frostborn, the Eternalists, the Warden’s ultimate plan, the taalkrazdors, the nature of Shadowbearer, Imaria Licinius, Truthseeker & Gavin, the Enlightened, and a whole bunch of other things were foreshadowed in the earlier books.
I think this shows it’s definitely better to plan out a series rather than let it happen organically. There’s always room for improvisation, of course (hence Mara and Third and the Anathgrimm), but it’s also good to have a plan.
That said, I think this excerpt from FROSTBORN: THE GRAY KNIGHT was the single funniest bit of foreshadowing in the series:
Then Caius joined Ridmark.
“Anything?” he said in a low voice.
“Nothing,” said Ridmark. “If anyone is watching us, they are skilled at stealth.”
Caius nodded. “Calliande is…rather comely, is she not?”
“God, the archangels, and all his saints!” said Ridmark. “The tales claim that all friars are meddling matchmakers, but I had not thought that impulse would extend to a member of the dwarven kindred.”