Monday, November 26, 2012

Gear Switching

The plot I created for Book 4 before I started working on it was based on the original draft of the entire story from 2008. In the current revision, I had to add more details and information from the end of Book 3 because the story has changed so much. I finally got to the point where I can connect the draft of Book 4 that I have with the 2008 draft.

But before doing that I thought, I should work on Book 3 a little more to make sure there are no surprises that will impact Book 4. And, of course, as I spent the weekend re-reading Book 3 I began to see that not only do I need to revise Book 4 for continuity, but Book 3 also needs revision.

I sort of knew that last part but with Book 2 waiting for the publisher I saw no rush to revise Book 3. However, it needs some amount of revision so I can continue on with Book 4. So I'm switching gears and fixing Book 3 for one reason: I do not want to write this story out of order. 

I've tried that before and it almost always means more revision than I would have had otherwise because story continuity is all over the map. It is far better for me to stop work on Book 4 and revise Book 3 as needed, noting any loose ends and then move forward with Book 4.

And I've already seen that James realizes he is in love with Iriel in Book 3. In Book 4 Iriel suggests they get married. James's reaction to that needs revision because I had forgotten his realization from Book 3.

That's only one example but it illustrates my point about continuity. So back to Book 3 I go.

And that's one of the biggest challenges with a multiple book series: continuity. Keeping all the details straight is hard and requires that I constantly go back and forward between different scenes in different books to make sure I get reactions and specific facts correct.

And it is not just keeping the facts straight; it is the implications of facts as well so an overall consistency in the world. For example, given the distances the characters have to travel it would be have hard to carry enough water for more than a few days. So I decided that wells would have been dug early in the kingdom's history. Once I decided on this, the implications mean that:

a. the characters do not have to purchase water for their journey ahead of time
b. I need to include scene where they reach public wells for water
c. use the wells as a place to meet others who are doing the same.

And there are other things I can do with this one fact, depending on how far I want to go.

So I dropping back to Book 3 to make sure I get it right. If I uncover other lessons learned from that experience, I'll share it here.

Keep writing everyone.

No comments: