This is something I’ve been planning for a long time and it doesn’t always come across. In fact, I might have already made a few posts about this ultimate goal or big plan or whatever you want to call it. The thing is that I’m still not sure people always realize that Windemere is more than Legends of Windemere. I do mention future series at times and try to note that they’re going to be in the same world, but it doesn’t always come across. Let’s hope I can change that here.
Legends of Windemere will be ending in December and next year will see the start of War of Nytefall. This series is about the rise of the Dawn Fangs and the ensuing vampire civil war. On the surface, it looks like it’s a vampire story while the previous series was fantasy. Yet, they’re both in Windemere and the Dawn Fangs have appeared in my first series. One of the main characters of the new series even shows up in The Mercenary Prince to . . . get involved. That’s one of the big tricks that I’ve tried to do over the years. Peppering some hints and laying the groundwork for the future series is essential for the opener. Not easy though since people won’t figure out the clues until the new stuff comes out. So, one could say that this is for me and to build bridges that can hopefully create re-reading.
Talking as a planner/plotter, I’ve had to create tons of notes to make sure I don’t mess up my continuity. Imagine me writing War of Nytefall, which happens before Legends of Windemere and having Clyde destroy the city of Gaia. Well, that doesn’t make any sense since it’s a prosperous city in the future and there was never any mention of that kind of destruction. All monsters need to be described the same way as well as any characters that can cross over. This is easier when having someone like Mab appear in a series that takes place later. Even vampires change over time and it makes people curious to find out what turned her into the person she is. Now, this is only for doing a prequel type series in the same world. It’s almost like an upside-down tree where you plant the seeds that will grow into the past instead of the future. The hints and winks I put in ‘Legends’ for ‘Nytefall’ are the after-effect of previous events instead of foreshadowing of the future. At least in terms of publishing order.
This has all been about the two series with a little tip toward others because I’m going to have series/books that take place before and after Legends of Windemere. I’ve had to plan and consider what I’m carrying over from other books. This gets more complicated as I put out more series too. Having info from one carrying over to another is easier, but then you get to a point in the future where you’re weaving threads between everything. For example, Gaia will be showing up in a lot of post-Great Cataclysm stories because it’s a big hub. I have to remember any changes that take place in previous stories, so I need to keep notes or take my time sifting back through older books to get it right. Characters who survive their adventure can show up or be mentioned in the future, but I have to remember who they interacted with. Having a surviving champion meet with Darwin Slepsnor can alter them enough that they have a different thought on wandering adventurers when they run into Sin. Aging is something to consider too in order to forge a wide, tapestry world.
So, what are some tips that I’m trying to keep in my head?
- If I doubt my memory on something then I need to check. My subconscious might be more aware than my active memory.
- Continuity is so important that I have to stay vigilant. One mistake can undo more than one series at this point.
- Note everything that I fear I might forget.
- Outlines are my friends because spontaneous cameos can cause trouble. Sudden uses of old locations are okay though since I never know when a scene will work in a nearby location. At least with prequel-types.
- Remember that a change in one series as I’m writing can alter the plans for the ones I haven’t written yet.
Honestly, this is the big dream I’ve had of creating a vast world, so the last 5 years have actually been Stage 1. Guess you could call The Life & Times of Ichabod Brooks is 1.5 since it’s slight connections. Nothing like Stage 2 where I tackle another series that will evolve Windemere even more. That’s a big part of this too. I’ve always considered the world to be a character, which means it needs to evolve. Unlike the champions, Dawn Fangs, and other cast members, Windemere will grow with every story and may never come to a true end. That’s actually a little scary.