How It Works
I intend to pitch another Onyx Court book to my publisher, that would be set in the mid-eighteenth century and form . . . call it bookends, with And Ashes Lie. Either one stands on its own just fine, but they do form a pair.
I’m pondering that story in my off moments, even though it’s Not What I’m Writing Just Now. Come up with an idea. Elaborate the idea. Oooh! It would be fantastic to have Character A do this thing where they tell the guy thus-and-such, ’cause that would put a really nice twist on the idea.
Go away. Do other things. Ponder.
No, wait. Given what happened in MNC, it totally doesn’t make sense for Character A to have those lines. They’d never say ’em. But they’re good lines . . . .
Okay, so invent Character B. Duh.
Keep pondering. While doing other stuff.
So how does Character B get into the story? Who is Character B? (A problem for next book, dear . . . .)
No, no. A problem for this book. Because it would be so much better if Character B were a side person in AAL, and then became more important in the next one.
Ooh, good! Let’s remember that.
Ponder some more.
AHA! Yessss, my precious. Introduce Character B when Thing X happens. It illustrates that thing we wanted to do after MNC, and puts them on the board before their big important moment in the next book and stuff for the Victorian one, too! and oh yes this will do nicely.
Series writing is a new thing to me. Doppelganger got slightly revised to better support its sequel, and I’ve constructed a few closed-trilogy ideas, but this is the first time I’ve really gotten down into the guts of something conceived of as interlocking pieces, rather than as sections of a whole. Apparently this is how it works: your brain ricochets back and forth between different parts like the victim of a pinball machine, but every so often you hit something and rack up a few points, and then if you’re really lucky lights start flashing and bells start ringing (and then be sure your ball doesn’t slip past you out the bottom . . . .)
Pinball: my newest weird writing metaphor.