Now that The Words of Making has been shipped off to my agent and editor, I get to turn my sights to the next book in the series (maybe), The Path of Ashes. I say maybe because, in my contract and in the original synopsis of the series, the next book is The Commanding Stone. What happened was that while writing The Words of Making, I generated lots of new and interesting story ideas, to the point where I realized they wouldn't fit in the other books as outlined but really needed a book of their own.
So I've been re-reading all of the notes I made and am starting to plot out the book. This is where all the heavy lifting is done for me -- I work out all of the plot and character arcs in pretty fine detail before I even write the opening sentence of the novel. Right now I have a number of disconnected ideas that I need to bring together. There is an overarching story, but I don't know how it ends, and that for me is a problem because I always have to know the end before I start writing. I need to write toward something; that's just how I operate.
I also don't have a storyline for the main character, which is a wee bit of a problem. All of the secondary characters have interesting stories going, but the big cahuna's is really lacking.
But I just got started, so these things will work themselves out soon enough. I plan on getting a detailed outline together and sending it to my agent and editor to see what they think. If they want to proceed, then I guess we'll either have to redo the contract or create some kind of addendum to the original.