The past week hasn’t seen a lot of words on the page, but my plot bunnies have been pretty active as I shift different pieces around for both Unburied (Book 2) and the next two books in the series. Unburied has become more than I’d originally thought, less a plot-driven novella and more a coming-of-age story for Dan and, to a lesser extent, Evan. The shift meant rethinking the pacing of the book and where some key events occurred relative to the overall length. Some sections are compressed, taking up many fewer chapters. And there’s a whole section that has been spun out to allow for things to develop — and yes, I’m being purposefully vague.
Unburied is a more ambitious story now, one I still have to remind myself I’m capable of telling. It ties in more with what comes later in the series. At the same time, I spent last weekend in DC researching and developing parts of Book 3, and made some significant changes as I got deeper into the characters and the events that set them in conflict with each other. By having the sense of what’s coming through Book 6, I’m able to spin out developments in one book and figure out what needs to come before to set that up, and what it sets up for later books.
Last night, the local writers group met for our monthly open mic, and I read for the first time. I chose Enough Rope, mostly because it fit in the time frame. But reading it reminded me that it was a single gesture in that story — something my brain had tossed out as a physical cue to amplify the preceding dialogue — that provided the idea for Thrown Out (the story, not the book). That’s the type of serendipity I enjoy about writing a series.