Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop

Getting closer to finishing my first fantasy-action novel Vengeance Will Come is terrifying. Okay, maybe terrifying is an exaggeration but there is an amount of dread involved.

Not just the usual and constant creative fears of “what if it’s not good enough?”, but also the complexity added because it’s book 1 in a series. If it were a single novel and I make a mistake there is reputational damage (which in itself is not unimportant). In a single novel however there isn’t much story-damage. Any damage ends with the last page of the book; not so with a series…

I have to admit that I’m learning to plot, which is to say I don’t have a detailed master plan for the series. So releasing the first book is like pouring the foundations to a house, without knowing exactly where the bedrooms are going to be. What if I set in place something that I discover to be a real mistake for the latter books? What if I come up with an awesome idea, but can’t use it because of a throw-away line in an earlier book?

There’s real pressure here. No time to dwell on it though, editing to be done… Just look at the next sentence, Ben.

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Preventing a Story Clash

“Your character sounds like Jaja Binks,” my alpha reader commented.

Instantly my alpha reader had my full attention. If my character in anyway resembled that crass merchandising fool then I would stop at nothing to obliterate any and all literary similarities.

In my defense the similarities were because my alien couldn’t speak Common very well and just happened to have a similar, basic, speech pattern.

Fortunately however this problem drew my attention to a more fundamental concern. As I’ve shared earlier while writing Vengeance Will Come I excised a plot thread and spun it into its own story The Rebel Queen.

Sidebar: The Rebel Queen was going to be a novelette but I was so inspired that it ended up a novel its own right. It is not book 2 of the Galactic Darkness series, but rather a parallel stand-alone story in the same universe, with some interweaving of characters.

In chambers (effectively a super-sidebar): After re-reading a portion of it, I am excited at the prospect of revising and finishing it. I like the story and I think you will too. Postscript: I may have been watching too many legal dramas lately (#Suits #TheGoodWife).

Returning to Vengeance Will Come, at chapter 14 is where the beginning of the interweaving occurs. This section was written prior to The Rebel Queen, and is now no longer harmonized. When I wrote the few scenes the character was a bit-character providing a plot road-marker. Now however after completing the The Rebel Queen, I have fleshed out the alien culture. Without adding spoilers, the character motivation and choices now contradict the world-building of The Rebel Queen. This cannot be allowed to stand.

If you want more details on the changes that happen, you’ll have to consult my Author’s Notes to Vengeance Will Come when that’s written too.