Thinking About Series
I did not get eaten by zombies this morning, nor did I have to drop any supplies as distraction. I even shaved 35 seconds a mile off my time from Monday (down to 12:39 from 13:16–yeah I know, it’s slow…but I’m improving!). Now if I can just get my hamstrings back in place of these dry rotted rubber bands someone slipped in during the night… Gentle stretches, easy walking, and probably a soak in the tub tonight…
I’ve been thinking about series a LOT this week, as my brain has been exploding on the Mirus front with politics and frictions between varying groups, and governmental machinations and all kinds of delicious, wonderful conflicts (aren’t you glad to hear that?). Between all the frantically scribbled notes and the brainstorming with CPs, I’ve been thinking about all the different directions that this series can go.
It’s exhilarating…and paralyzing. Or has been for the last couple of years.
I’ve been so worried about committing to something like a specific metaplot in the series, so terrified of not getting it right, of setting up something and then finding out it won’t work like I thought or something and then not being able to go back because THOSE DETAILS ARE OUT THERE…
What if I get it WRONG?
Cue hyperventilation and complete and total creative deep freeze on that project.
Having two years away from it, working on totally unrelated projects, has given me time to kind of forget where my brain was going with it that so freaked me out and freed me up to imagine other possibilities. Something occurred to me yesterday that absolutely EXPLODED my brain with the “and I could do this, or that, and then this other group would be this and…WHEE!” And it’s all the kind of stuff that’s going to deepen the world and make it more real and interesting.
Now, I could have some kind of detailed, broader metaplot in mind for this series. A pretty clear end goal in the same way that Nalini Singh (whom I love) has done with her Psy-Changeling series. But that kind of thinking completely and totally freaked me out. So instead, I want to continue thinking about this as a bunch of loosely connected stand alones.
There will be characters that pop up in multiple books, stuff that happens in one story that will affect others, and bigger plot machinations that will span multiple books…but I’m not going to stress about it. I’m not going to think I have to have it all planned out–because, you know, me…then I’d try to plot out 17 books all the way to the end and never get around to writing any. I want to explore the world, explore the issues that pop up, but most importantly, I want to explore the characters.
Obviously it’s essential I keep a good series bible to keep track of what I do. I’ll need to reread what I’ve written to see what seeds I planted, what details are out there that can’t be changed, specifics about the characters I introduce so that stuff like Isla who was mentioned as having brown eyes in Devil’s Eye and shows up in Blindsight with blue doesn’t happen again. (She got a color change when she came into her second phase of power in adolescence….yeah…that was totally on purpose…NOT). I need to make a list of all the players and groups and the kinds of frictions that exist between them. I need to, in short, be ORGANIZED about how I approach it.
But I won’t lock myself in or limit myself with having a true end goal in mind. There are two or three major events that will happen in the course of the series, but I don’t have a true END I’m working toward. And I’m okay with that.
Let the fun begin.