Writing a book series is an interesting thing. There are so many options available to you. Do you create a world/universe and just write stories about that universe that don’t necessarily fit together in a chronological whole? Certainly I’ve ready plenty of series that fit that parameter and loved them. There are shorter series–trilogies and quartets where there’s a very clear overarching metaplot and each book picks up where the last left off. There are longer series that have a particular pattern to each book to go along with the big metaplot–like Harry Potter. We knew picking each book up that it would follow that year’s adventures at Howarts (and beyond as the series went on).
My Mirus series falls somewhere between the disconnected and the overarching metaplot. The plan is for the metaplot to become clearer as the series progresses–a sort of drawing together of larger threads kind of deal. Forsaken By Shadow was always intended as a glimpse into the world–a bite-sized introduction to the universe. It succeeds in that mission because it introduces a lot of types of creatures and sets up some of the political undercurrents that will thread through the whole plot, but it really doesn’t give anything away in terms of WHAT the metaplot is. I didn’t KNOW what it was when I wrote that story.
I figured out the metaplot AFTER–a metaplot that rather hinged on Revelation, the book I expected to come after FBS and Edge of Shadow. Now…I’m not so sure. I had problems with that book while I was trying to write it earlier this year. I got around 20k in (if memory serves) and was seriously wrestling with the book wanting to be more mystery than action oriented, which doesn’t at all fit the tone of the rest of the series. Plus, unlike all the other planned stories, it was almost exclusively dealing with the fae in my world. So I’m starting to wonder if, perhaps, that story doesn’t need to be told. Or if it does, thinking that it’s going to change drastically. To what, I don’t know. It’s not a decision I’m making soon, as I’m neck-deep in Red, but I’m mulling. Part of this stems from the fact that last night I figured out how Devil’s Eye ties in with the part of the metaplot I know doesn’t change. Which suddenly makes it not so standalone. Which is not a bad thing.
It’s an oddly freeing place to be, actually, at the very beginning of a series. I still have the latitude to change it and decide where I want to go. Certainly there are aspects that will remain as I have always envisioned. The races, their place in human society, the strain between those who wish to remain hidden and those who wish to lift the metaphoric veil and reveal their existence. No matter what else happens, a war is coming between those two groups, and the point of the series is to chronicle the rise and fall and what ultimately happens. But the path of what I show you, as reader, is fully wide open to me, and I’m not so wedded to what I originally planned that I’m not thrilled by that prospect.