To be clear, I'm talking specifically about drafting the synopses of the three books in the trilogy. As of the end of my writing day yesterday, I have initial drafts of the synopses for Calamity of So Long a Life and The Whips and Scorns of Time, totaling about 7,200 words. That's about 17.5 hours invested over the past week or so. Much of that time was spent drawing mind maps, writing incidental text in the form of continuity and worldbuilding notes, etc., so that the synopses have context and consistency, and make sense in the metanarrative.
I have one more push to come, for Be All Our Sins Remembered, then I'll have a complete first draft synoptic outline. Plus, of course, dozens and dozens of pages of those continuity notes and worldbuilding and so forth produced in my extensive earlier tranches of effort.
In addition, I did start doing a scene-by-scene outline, but abandoned that as a false trail. I'll keep what I started and use it to launch me into the first book, but after that I'll likely just write from the synopses.
This has all been a large effort, to the point of overwhelming. I've never before needed to reach so deep into process aids like my white boarding and mindmaps. This trilogy is way beyond my span of control. That's part of the fun. Stretching, learning. What I'm learning about outlining and planning a book has already been worth the price of admission.
Once the outline is done, and I've had some time to pore over it, I'll send it off to arcaedia and some other trusted first readers for review and comment. Then I'll dive into drafting the first book. I won't get all three done straight through — in a few months I'll need to go back to Kalimpura and work those revisions. My hope is to fit that process in between the first and second books of this project.
Sunspin proceeds. I learn.