So I got a good writing session in this morning – 1500 words worth. That is how I like to start my day, as it gives me a sense of accomplishment, and is good for my messed up brain.
This is the fifth novel in the White Dragon Black series, and although I hope whoever is reading it (when that time comes) is already a fan, knows Jonathan Alvey, and the world — I can’t count on it. This is not a series set up to be read starting at book one and moving to book two, then to book three … but individual novels in their own right. I hope.
I want readers to be able to pick up book five, even if they have never even read a short story in the same world. I hate coming across a novel that sounds cool, only to realize it is book two of a trilogy and I have no access to book one. I also want those readers who have started following the series right at ‘Tomorrow Wendell’, and followed diligently with every novel after, to have a sense of continuation — of progress.
So the novels are chronologically set, one after the other. I am slowly adding longer term connections from one novel to the next, which will culminate in the final installment of the series, to help give a feeling of building something over the long haul.
The issue is to balance these. I have to make each book have the required information for a new reader that will give them access to the world I’ve built. I need to explain the rules and introduce them to the characters. In doing this, I risk pummeling those readers who are avid followers with the same info, over and over, until they are sick of hearing it.
I have to balance the information so not to bore my faithful followers, and yet allow new readers to bond with Jonathan. It is an issue I have to face with each novel and it doesn’t become easier as time goes on – it gets harder.
As more characters are established with each new novel, and more history is built up, the information that needs to be imparted grows and becomes more difficult to untangle to be presented as new. I have to make it seem as new to the long term readers, as it is to the new readers. This calls for a touch of magic, as there really is no formula – especially for a ‘seat of the pants’ writer like me.
All I can do is shoot for the best of both, hope that I hit the mark, and that my readers are forgiving of my flaws.