Tuesday, July 30, 2019

To Series or Not To Series

Well... that's in reference to my current work-in-progress, whose original title no longer applies as it's gone through a massive revamping about 20K words in. Such a case has become more and more common with me nowadays as writing's become more of a murky struggle and an utter crapshoot from the start line. I do find myself feeling more and more unsure of the direction of the plot, the nature of the conflict, and every other smaller story element in between that moving forward with new chapters is torture, not a creative release.

So my present work-in-progress, initially called The Heart of Amenias, is now generically referred to as "the gothic novella", which, itself, is also in question as my handwritten draft reveals a longer and more complicated storyline. That, of course, means novel-length fiction and not a long novella a la A Dirge for St. Monica.

In a roundabout way, I'm yammering aimlessly because I'm also now on the fence regarding whether or not this new book will be the first of a planned new series called Curiosities, which, if I were to be honest with myself, is really more of the same in the Arcana Europa series. The same primary elements are there: an AU Victorian Europe where same-sex relationships are commonplace, and magic is prevalent. Plus religion, nature, and science work together to shape the mores of the characters.

The only difference between this hoped-for series and Arcana Europa is the fact that Curosities actually has a clear and significant connecting thread that will run through all of the books I'd like to write for it. In Arcana Europa, the main conflict varies considerably from book to book, each theme pretty much confined to a specific place. England has its own magic, same with France, Italy, Romania (before the country's unification), Sweden, and Luxembourg. In Curiosities, there's a shady character who'll be a constant throughout the series and whose machinations pretty much set the wheels in motion in each book.

Other than that difference, there's really nothing else between the two series, so I'm now sort of torn. The current setting is the Czech Republic or, more specifically, Bohemia, and while the main story's a classic ghost story and gothic romance, everything else is dictated by legends specific to the country.

At any rate, I'm fretting over this (to some extent), and while it might not seem such a big deal for others, my final decision will definitely shape the direction of future stories either way. But I suppose work on getting the damn story finished first and then make a decision after the first draft's done, so I can revise and edit accordingly.

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