Writing Process--Worldbuilding, Early Stages

So here I am again. Facing the need to start building the world, characters, and plot lines for a new series. Well, this one is kinda new. It's a second trilogy in the Goddess's Honor world. But still. Here I am at the beginning once more.

Last year, sitting down to build the world and write the entire trilogy all at once, then release all at once in the fall, actually worked well for me. One of my frustrations in working with a series is remembering all of those niggling little continuity pieces, especially as the world shifts while I get to know it through writing. The reality is that you can plan, plan, plan and plot, plot, plot all you want but once the characters start interacting with the plot, stuff happens to change their backstory and even some of the earlier events in the story. I found this to be quite frustrating in writing both The Netwalk Sequence and Goddess's Honor. Not so much with The Martiniere Legacy because I could go back and retcon things. And even though The Heritage of Michael Martiniere was partially written after the main Legacy trilogy came out, I still did not have the frustrations that I did with Netwalk and Goddess's Honor.

As a result, I'm going to do the same thing with this trilogy. My timing is pretty close to what I was doing with the Legacy, and I'm actually starting a wee bit ahead because I'm picking up threads from the end of Goddess's Honor and Judgment of Honor.

At this point in time I don't even have a series title or book titles. I know it's going to be a trilogy. But considering that I really didn't have titles for the Legacy books until pretty late, I'm not worried about it.

I've been poking around at the various characters and what they need to accomplish in the series-wide arc, not the individual books just yet. It's rather like scattering a pack of Tarot cards and looking at each one.

The Major Players

Here is Heinmyets. He played a minor but significant role in the Goddess's Honor books. He's going to be a major player in these books, because instead of retiring after handing the leadership of the Two Nations (Keldara and Clenda) over to his grandson Linyet, he ends up with a major diplomatic role in the reconstruction of the land of Daran. I've been spending a lot of time thinking about Heinmyets and the role he plays. His experience with the magic breed of horses, daranvelii, will also be significant.

Katerin ea Miteal is no longer simple Katerin Healer. Leader of Medvara, mother of the new Empress of Daran. But the lands of Varen look to her to fulfill a growing need, especially since the nations of Varen face a growing challenge to the east instead of the dangers of the Darani Empire renewing their colonial ambitions. And she has a new romantic interest in her life, after years of mourning Witmara's father Metkyi.

Witmara ea Miteal, Empress of Daran, has a huge hot mess on her hands. Her predecessor Chatain en Ralsem focused on colonial expansion instead of maintaining the lands he already had. It's up to Witmara to fix them and correct the injustices that have been mounting in Daran for generations. That includes a lot of special interests, including a long-term insurgency by the Matriarchs of Ternar that has only now come to light.

Betsona ea Ralsem, half-sister to Chatain and Witmara's most prominent supporter in Daran. Her mother was Ternarese but she was never a candidate for Empress due to disability caused by a magical accident when she was young. She is also a target for the Matriarch's insurgency and is a focal point for some of those special interests. The interactions between her and Heinmyets become crucial, especially as they take on a romantic element. Until Heinmyets, Betsona's only romantic involvement has been with her servant Seijina. She's key to Witmara's success...or failure.

The Minor Players

Imnari, Headwoman of Wickmasa, is not who she appeared to be in the Goddess's Honor books. The village of Wickmasa has been paradoxical for many generations, and Imnari is part of that.

Orlanden, lover of Haran, the late brother of the Mershaunten of Larij. He's more than willing to leave Varen after Haran's death, and serves as an aide to Heinmyets.

Tilvi and Tilyet--sister and brother, distant cousins of Katerin and Witmara. Senior staff in Medvara's agriculture division, selected by the land to serve as guardians of the leadership when Katerin is not in Medvara.

Rekaré, new Goddess of Sorrow--still learning how to be a Goddess, and dealing with Stuff.

Seijina--no romantic interest between her and Orlanden, but doesn't mean the two of 'em aren't scheming.

So it's still a case of spreading the cards, and concocting the big arcs. Then I sit down and start piecing together the small arcs for each book.

Projected writing start time is sometime mid-month.