Saturday, March 17, 2012

Keeping the Tech in Sync

I'm rounding the last bend on my Telomere Trilogy. I know some people don't consider a trilogy a series, but I do. A finite series. There are just too many similarities, comparables, pitfalls, whatnot.

Now, before we get started it's confession time. Welcome to AR's Confession Corner. Ready?

"Hello, my name is AR and...I'm an adulterous writer. Disloyal, two-timing, faithless, fickle. Yes, all those things and more."

This is probably why I don't write contemporary or Earth-based SF. The world is what the world is and crowds my creativity.

I didn't completely know this until halfway through book 2. Here I was, outline finished, base of the story kicked off, and me wanting to explore new SF concepts that'd been catching my attention.

Let's flashback to, oh, almost a year ago. Went something like this:

AR rubs her hands together in anticipative glee, puts her fingers on the keyboard...

Noah tisks. "No, no, my writer. That doesn't fit the world you've built for me and my crew."

"But, but--Captain! It's so exciting! Popular science published this article, MIT completed this new study...and, and--"

"Ah, ah. I repeat, doesn't fit. My world has a conceptual boundary."

*ugh* "OK. FINE!"

What is a SF geek to do? Well, in a series (at least this kind of series), the developed world supersedes. I've had to tuck away all those fantastical ideas and live in the predefined world -- one I was uber excited about at the time might I add -- to complete Noah's story as envisioned.

Oddly enough, once I clarified those borders I got juiced about it again. And even though I understand now that it would take another unique story like Noah's for me to restrict myself to one "world" and one set of characters for several books, I'm glad I tackled this writing challenge. I do have another series, technically, but I've created it where I can change out 80 to 90 percent of the tech at will. The only constant will be the agent's "gift".

So, because it's top of mind, I'm going to keep in the same theme and the next post will be another requirement of series, continuing the story already in progress without overloading the reader.


  1. I think the hardest part of writing a series is to give enough background in the sequels so that new readers can jump in and devoted readers can refresh their memories. It's hard to do that without getting so repetitive that you bore the ones who read the previous book. You can't just say, "Hey, I described that in the last one. That's enough." It's not always easy to convey the necessary information in a concise yet interesting way.

  2. Tech changes could work if you plotted about the new fangled change, haha.

    I have a couple of series started, one I decided to replot the second and third book because I want a certain loose end to be fixed by the end of book three and it was not going that way. Trilogy sounds good to me!

  3. I've started with a series, and I have no intention of ever writing another one! Future books might be set in the same universe, but I don't want to tie myself down with another series after this one.

  4. When I went to grad school in Anthropology I discovered my fellows all read Sci Fi (as it was called then)--I asked & they said, like human cultures, they liked the symmetry, the defined universe, a coherent culture. Where they didn't have to do field work (jk). Point is, any world you create will have boundaries. Sigh. M. S. Spencer

  5. @ Allie - Thanks for stopping by! That is one of the hardest for me to (and my topic for the next post). I'm finding it difficult to get the subsequent books started without it feeling like info dump to readers with good memories (or those who just finished the previous book).

    @Melisse - Don't you just love the revision stage? I could do!"the "damn tech changes!" approach, but the ones I'm thinking are so different in scope that it would be an illogical leap.

    @ Pippa Jay - Hi! I definitely won't be doing a series with the same characters or setting. The one I'm plotting now is a series that always is set in different places and has different main characters. The only thing that's the same is a kinetic ability they have.

    @M.S. - Thanks for coming by! Interesting, who knew the guys dedicated to the past would love the future. But I guess it makes sense. (LOL, I remember when it was SciFi...gave it a shout out in my blog title). I hear ya about the consistant with any book, it's having to keep the same constant across lots of books that I;ve discovered I'm not fond of. By the end of a book, I'm ready to create a new and different constant.

  6. I'm glad you opened this theme. I am in my second book of a trilogy and am dying. I've rewriten the first chapter six times trying to give the new reader backstory without dumping information and boring the reader of book one out of her senses. Yikes!!

  7. You can always do what I did: cut the backstory and write the book as a standalone. If you really feel it's needed, write is as a prologue that the up-to-date reader can feel free to skip.

    Series can be a lot of fun. Mine is 11 books. But playing in a different sandbox with each story can be fun, too.