The box in the top right corner of the SOH website is a motivator. I’m already thinking about how fast I can get the grammar check on Legend done. Not only that I can’t wait to see the next book in the series, A Dream To Share, underneath Legend as I wait for feedback. I was even thinking further than that to the books I wanted to do before tackling the In the Name of Freedom trilogy. That led to a few complications and me rethinking my plan.

Impact on the other parts of the series

I thought it would be a great time to start the Origin Worlds part of the series. Then I realized something very important. If I did that, I would reveal and confirm a few things too early.  Since I meant for Origin Worlds to comprise of independent stories that filled in the details, I thought about doing the ones that directly set up the INOF trilogy and then going back to the others. My problem with that plan was that I want to keep everything in the present time line chronological and there were a few books in Origin Worlds that were present timeline characters. The other option was to reintegrate Origin Worlds into the main series.

I’m going with the second option. It actually makes my life easier since it’s fewer books I have to write.  Twenty-four for the main series and then how many ever I want for Time’s Puzzle.  It doesn’t have to be the fourteen any more to keep it balanced with the rest of the parts. I’m thinking around seven since seven is an important number in the series.

Flashbacks

This new plan means that some of the stories will contain flashbacks, which aren’t necessarily a bad thing,. Look at Person of InterestArrow, and Lost. They all have flashbacks in them that drive the story forward. Sure, in written prose, it’s hard to pull them off because of the lack of visual cues.  However, they can make for a well-crafted tale, if done right.

Legend is a dual century book where I jump back and forth between the twenty-first and twenty-sixth centuries, so the precedent for jumping between times is already set up. Two later books in the series, The Lone Horse Incident and Saving Ourselves, also deal with multiple timelines.  So maybe the flashback / timeline jumping thing will work. I just need to date stuff like I’ve been doing.

Cliffhangers

A bigger level of resistance I might encounter is to the cliffhangers in the some of the books. Cliffhangers happen in the books all the time. What do you think suspenseful chapter ending are? There is a backlash against them because of the perception that authors are dividing their books to force readers to buy the next one, at least according to the reviews I’ve seen on Amazon. I saw one author even put a warning in their book description that their book ended in a cliffhanger.

Spirit ends in a cliffhanger and Legend ends in a double, one for each century.  It can’t be helped. Until the situation with Jeff is resolved, nothing can be tied up in neat little boxes. I can come as close as I can, but there are bound to be a few loose ends that have to be woven between the books. I’m not doing it to force people to buy the next book. I write long prose, even though it’s short chapters. Spirit was close to one hundred thousand words. Legend is somewhere in the low seventy thousand. If I tried to write the whole Jeff story arc in one book, we are talking at least half a million words, if not more. I don’t know about you, but I would lose track of everything that was going on if I had to read something that long.

Why did this happen?

This dilemma resulted from me writing by the seat of my pants and not thinking things through until the last few years. The good news is that I’ve learned my lesson, so I’m thinking three or four steps ahead of myself and preventing a bigger disaster.  I’m still going to be a brain dumping chunk writer when it comes to the actual stories, at least for the first draft stages of the books, but everything else is going to be planned, if I can help it.