I just finished writing an enormously long email to my critique partner. We ‘met’ on Twitter about six weeks ago and she has gone from being one of a number of people I chat to online to my best friend in the writerverse. We share our dreams, our hopes and our goals for the future. When I am feeling ambivalent about my writing and my chances of publication I can tell her and she cheerleads me back onto the rails again. And I do the same for her. In short, we give each other encouragement from a writer’s point of view. Something which no one who isn’t a writer can do, no matter how much they love you.
The point is that in this incredibly long missive I talked myself round to realise that future trilogies I had envisaged for the worlds I am building in my current WIP could actually become ongoing series’, rather than just be limited to three books. After all, I am building up a planet’s worth of characters, times two (two worlds), so I should be able to get more out of them than just a trilogy each.
This is something I have wanted to do ever since I decided that I wanted to be a writer (bear in mind this decision is about fifteen years old) but I knew I needed to come up with a world on which to base the series. Terry Pratchett and the Discworld, Anne McCaffrey and Pern or Frank Herbert and Dune (where the series actually outlived its creator, thanks to his son) – and NO, I’m not comparing myself to any of them except in the sense of having a world on which to base a number of stories – these are worlds with such a large number of societies, social hierarchies and individual characters that the possibilities for books are almost limitless.
When I came up with my idea for the Wormworlds (two worlds linked by a wormhole) I wasn’t consciously basing it on the Discworld and Pern. Of course, I can’t discount the possibility that my subconscious was at work because let’s face it, I lived in those worlds throughout my teens. Even now Terry Pratchett’s books are the only ones I buy in hardback because I simply can’t get enough of the Discworld. My adoration is absolute. Pern comes in a close second only because it doesn’t make me laugh quite as much.
I hadn’t even thought I could get an ongoing series out of my worlds until I was talking it through in the email I wrote today. This is why it is good to get excited about your books. Because once you have that small number of people who will give you the opening to think things through in the form of a conversation (for some reason this works far better for me than on my own with a pencil and paper) you will find yourself considering all sorts of options that you hadn’t even imagined were possible. And therein can lie your best ideas.