There is no creature on this Earth more giddy than a writer with a new toy.
My new toy is a setting that I think combines a healthy portion of the things I love into one great mess of a thing. It’s a new setting for a series of YA stories that I’m frantically working on between sporadic chunks of freelance web design (if you’re reading this and need a website, email me, because I don’t have enough work right now). Pretty much every free moment right now is consumed with thinking out the implications of my idea, building up my society, my character ideas, my plot ideas (and panicking about impending fatherhood). I could get a ten book series from this idea, easily. I could work on this single setting indefinitely. Or at least until it really bores me, but right now I don’t see that happening any time soon. It’s a daunting prospect though.
I’ve got a lot of practice thinking in terms of single story worlds. Worlds that lend to characters that solve themselves neatly like little puzzle boxes in a few thousand words. For the longest time, the idea of writing a series didn’t occur to me. But I started to notice a trend in my fan mail (yes, shut up, I get fan mail sometimes). I’d say about 75% of my fan letters were asking me to write more in a particular setting/world. Very few readers seemed to be satisfied with just the one story in the world.
So I’ve been trying to think in terms of series now. But there aren’t a lot of resources out there that I’ve come across that describe how to develop such things. And the marketability of it seems much riskier. Devote a lot of energy into a series and nobody wants part of it, you’re kind of out a lot of time.
My technique has to be different. I need stories that run longer arcs.. I need a world that isn’t irrevocably changed right off. I need a world that can breathe for a while, that I can change over a long period of time. So learning how to do that is going to be my new experience I think. It’s not looking very easy so far.
But like the inhabitants of my new world say, “there are no easy scores in Dungeonspace.” There are also no easy scores in the writing world.