I think I have to plot this book (series) backwards. It’s weird. Usually I start with characters, and let their choices drive the action. But I’m trying to learn how to write a more world (galaxy)-spanning sort of plot, and where I got into trouble with the last novel I tried to write was largely because I started with characters and then tried to impose that kind of plot on them, and it really didn’t work. Very frustrating.
So I’m trying to start at the other end now. Here’s my endpoint. Here are the major historical events that led up to it, over about a ten-year period and multiple planets. (Which is all going to take a while to research and construct.) And from that, find the characters who would have lived at the crucial points that set all this in motion.
It’s so opposite the way I usually work. Even now, I keep getting flashes of scene, of character, that I want to use as starting points. A young grad student at a funeral of one of her students, furious at an untimely death, standing in the rain, with her cheap coat failing entirely to keep her dry. I can see her; I can see glimpses of the (I think poly) household she comes back to afterwards.
But I’m trying to just…hold those aside for now. Make notes, but not write the scene. I can see her, but I don’t yet know how she fits into this story. Trying to be patient until the right time comes to learn that.