Weaving a Series

[This is going to be short, as I’m on vacation, escaping the Texas heat]

What do you do when you are avoiding writing by looking at all the horrible half written stories that never got finished . . . And you realize you’ve got your hands on exactly what your series needs.

“Yes!” The Muse clutches it in delight. “It’s perfect! Get writing!”

Small problem. The story starts during the massive FUBAR in book 17 of the series, and you’re supposed to be finishing book 45.

Well, it takes more than that to shut up the Muse. And the story does happen off in a parallel World that doesn’t get much attention. So I just have to plot out a timeline and see when things happen that this poor Character _must_ be aware of. So she can think about them while she gets on with the getting married, having a baby, raising same . . . Okay, I can elide past most of this, right Muse? Since, you know, it’ll only be important to the series about the time the kids go off to college and . . .

Muse! Really! A cross dimensional attack that hasn’t been mentioned in any of the books to date?

Okay, we’ll write it where you think it ought to be, but don’t give me any flack if I completely edit it out of the story, or at a minimum, shift it past the time of book 45, Okay?

Now why, you say, am I even agreeing to write this?

*sigh* My big series is big on the conflicts between a modern high-tech civilization, a modern high-tech civ with quite a bit of magic, and a medieval civ with very powerful magic. There’s a lot of Cold War stuff, some proxy wars and so forth, but a lot of the stories involve spies.

Two of the worlds have nice fictional espionage organizations and Main Characters with huge back stories on both sides. The other one barely gets a mention.

So here’s this story that popped out of nowhere, and suddenly the Earth has actual named agents, and buildings and plans for infiltrating the other two places. So it’s getting written. And then the invasion is getting written out! You hear me, Muse! This is a pain in the keyboard to write and probably boring as all get out in the middle.

Bah! Muses never listen!

My favorite espionage episode:


  1. I thought I’d managed to end the Merchant trilogy with three novels and a short story. WRONG. The Muse hit me for a fourth novel, and now a fifth, because I forgot salt. The single most important mineral traded in much of history. The source of 1/3 of Poland’s income until the Partition of Poland. You know, that stuff?

    1. On a similar line, IIRC, at the time of the American Revolution the GDP of the West Indies was higher than all of the 13 colonies combined because of one item: sugar.

        1. Because the Royal Navy drank it all?

          BTW, the RN and USN have totally different attitudes to alcohol. The RN still has excellent beer on top for enlisted, and a full bar for officers. In the USN, brandy is for medical emergencies and maybe for foreign dignitaries.

    2. Awww, darn. Not another one. There is something magical about those books that I can’t quite put my finger on. “Intimate” comes to mind, but applies to the world as much as the characters.

  2. Earth has gotten somewhat short shrift other than the big meanies. A book with a bit more depth for them seems reasonable. And whatever happened to Peace and “his” army?

    The skunk scene in Empire is very funny.

  3. The fundamental aesthetic problem with series is that you are stuck with the earlier drafts when the latter books don’t work with it.

Comments are closed.