|A Shadow Story's MC Lividia Blackwell|
I've had the MS for my YA Victorian Fantasy novel written for some time, and even queried it, but this past year I realized I needed to work on it some more, including adding maybe 10k more words. It's the first in a series and a hard thing to approach without the rest planned out. It's an expansive series - moreso than I realized when I wrote the first book. It also includes pen and ink illustrations scattered throughout the prose. The more time passes, the more it grows, and the more the backstories of the characters unfold and influence the plot.
This is both a good thing and a bad thing. The good is that the story is still writing and illustrating itself, even though I don't have it physically written. The bad is that I don't know how long it'll take before it's finished enough for me to query the first book again. I queried prematurely and ultimately didn't get anywhere because the first book is like the tip of an iceberg. I need to discover how deep it goes. (It also sinks other creative ideas that come near it.)
I've written fantasy before, and sequential short stories, but this is the first project of this scale I've undertaken. When it's finished I expect it to span more than a trilogy (unless the books are HUGE), but I'll have to see what the plotting reveals. I'm also a pantser, so this is an even taller order for me.
Have you written a complex fantasy series before? How did you query your first book? Did you finish your world-building and plan the rest of the series before you could?