As I noted earlier, I’m working on a five book series that greatly expands on three stories Analog published some time back. It’s quite an interesting task. Very different from writing the God-Touched Mage series in that my goal here is to keep all the little bits of the story that were contained in the shorter works unchanged—at least in purpose and meaning. I think that’s the deal you make with a reader when you decide to build on top of short stories. The short works still have to be “true.” Yes, I’m making tweaks, but I don’t want readers who read and enjoyed the short works to read these books and go “hey! That changes everything!” and throw them against the metaphorical wall. That would suck.
Starflight, Book 1, is in the can now (and is on the desk of The Greatest Copy Editor of All Time!). Starburst, Book 2, is with a few early beta readers. And I’ve just finished the first pass of Starfall, which is, naturally, Book 3. Starfall is the most interesting so far of the three books in the fashion of how I’m working to weave in the preexisting work (“The Taranth Stone,” for those of you who have read it).
The bulk of the existing work falls toward the end of the book. I had originally envisioned expanding forward to add in history, and fiddle with a couple characters. And, yes, that’s what I’m doing. But having finished the first pass, I see a whole lot more here. I see that this can be a story about more than a character with a problem in a setting. “The Taranth Stone,” itself fits that idea quite well for the novelette it was, so this shouldn’t surprise me.
But it did.
Ultimately, I guess I’m saying that the story is speaking to me now. The planetary environment I’m playing with is feeling real and the species and their problems and their day-to-day lives are feeling more … substantial to me. I’m feeling the wave building below me.
So back in I go for a second pass—which will include all the real heavy lifting and the “art” of its creation (whatever level that might be).
Wish me luck.