I think my story is very much a milieu story. From Writers Digest:
The milieu is the world—the planet, the society, the weather, the family, all the elements that come up during your world-creation phase. Every story has a milieu, but when a story is structured around one, the milieu is the thing the storyteller cares about most. For instance, in Gulliver’s Travels, it mattered little to Jonathan Swift whether we came to care about Gulliver as a character. The whole point of the story was for the audience to see all the strange lands where Gulliver traveled and then compare the societies he found there with the society of England in Swift’s own day—and the societies of all the tale’s readers, in all times and places. So it would’ve been absurd to begin by writing much about Gulliver’s childhood and upbringing. The real story began the moment Gulliver got to the first of the book’s strange lands, and it ended when he came home.
Milieu stories always follow that structure. An observer who sees things the way we’d see them gets to the strange place, observes things that interest him, is transformed by what he sees, and then comes back a new person.
In book 2, Dane must gather the refrains of the lost Lorica and bring them together for the Majisters. We see him travel the length and breadth of Canard (and beyond it) to do so.
This is Dane’s story.
but I’m also setting up the next book, which is Trystan’s story.
I tried to use an outline, and what happened?
I got stuck.
Not just stuck.
Bogged down, overwhelmed, stressed and resentful. So I’ve officially thrown it out and am writing into the dark.
Sorry LSE®. I can’t outline.
Anyhow. I do have little cards telling me where Dane is going next. Right now he is in Mos Tevis, in Pelegor, before the dwarf lords. There’s a huge long staircase up to the top of the peak. That’s where they are meeting. I have no idea what they’re going to say or what he will have to do to get the refrain back. But it will be glorious finding out.
But that’s what I’m doing. I have the places Dane is going mapped out and I am writing about that, and filling in the other story bits around it. When I write I end up with questions, so I make a note of the questions and then I go back and answer them. It works.
It isn’t terribly efficient. But it works.
I’m thinking about going ahead and writing my prequel after this one is done. I have that story sort of burning in me and it’s dying to come out. Then going and writing the third book. I don’t know. we shall see. Petros and Jamis are very real in my head, popping up at inconvenient moments.
The worst part though, is that while I have an ending. I do. I sorta know where I’m going. I have no idea how to get from here to there. I just have to set out and put one foot in front of the other and eventually I’ll get there.
So now you know as much about the story as I can tell you. My outline is a poem. I stopped outlining. Now I’m just writing.
But I think one thing is true. Before I publish book 2, I am going to have to at least have the first draft of book 3 done. I know one thing about how it ends, but I’m going to have to know all the things.