Today I crossed over the 27K word count in the new book, the third in the Gaiaverse series. The book finally seems to be settling down and not making me so crazy. It feels like I’m on the right track. This book is five years into the future and it has been harder to find my way, in part because of that five year difference in the circumstances and people.
It made me stop and think about the last five years of my life. Has anything changed? Yes, in fact, my life has gotten much better. Five years ago, Gaia Dreams was in a drawer with no thought of being published. Five years ago I was still slowly killing myself with cigarettes. Now I’m a three-year non-smoker. It feels good and my health is better for it. Back then I was stuck in a depression and now I’m not. A lot can change in five years–just look at your own life to see what I mean.
Taking a character in a story five years into the future is a curious mix of ‘what if’ and going beyond the limits. In this case, it isn’t one character but numerous characters whose lives all have to be addressed in terms of growth, change, stagnation, challenges, achievements, problems, crises and more. Characters that I knew so well in books one and two are now different, and I have to get to know them all over again. When I started the five-year into the future time frame, I hadn’t really thought it all out. It is not just people who will have changed, but the local environment, the places people work and live, will have changed as well.
So why do it, if it is this complicated? Well, because it is fun. Oh at first it was all head banging into the wall frustration, but it is now fun. It is neat to see where the characters have gone in their development. It is a challenge to figure out how changes in the world and the people impact the story. In the case of the third book, those changes drive certain main themes and events. And of course, since I am the writer, I have control over what has happened to everyone. Right. As usual, I only have a certain amount of control. I tried to set up something with one character and it wouldn’t work no matter how hard I tried. That character just wasn’t going there. Which is pretty much business as usual for me when it comes to writing.
Wondering why there is a pink castle for today’s photo? It is from my castle collection, and I just felt like putting it up there.