Ideas for Book Four, finally.

Why concern over a book four, when book two has been ten years in the works and unpublished? Even this site, the last five posts are quite literally, across five years, last post was two years ago, also at the beginning of a year. That is changing this year. Heavily.

Because during book one, I had ideas for making a trilogy at first. And then I realized I didn’t want to just write a trilogy, I wanted a series. When your favorite works are over 400k words and have enough events happen in them to need years worth of television to cover a single book, you think in series instead of single works.

And I like the idea of my characters continuing on. And it still pains me to think of a couple authors who wrote series and died before being able to finish their work, even if they did have decades of series already started. You may think “but if their works never finished, then the characters never ended.” How wrong. They died when their author died far too early in life. Each author is the god of their own fictional universe. No matter how many other people know of it, when the author is gone, that universe no longer exists. It would be a different matter if the series was complete, however, that universe then becomes self-contained. Or well, that’s just my view on it.

So this gets to Lupine series, book four, how? Well in book one I figured out the fundamentals of the universe it is in when writing it. And have been mentally expanding it ever since. Agonizing over choices to make, plots to either write or discard, and even anguishing over the suffering that’ll end up happening in that world. No wonder they call it god in the machine, deus ex machina, when a writer just puts in a split second save of a character in a completely impossible way. Sometimes you want to wave that power around and fix all their troubles.

Book one was light and upbeat. It had some stuff happen, but the ending was “good,” even if the final pages are a setup for the next book. I hesitate to say cliffhanger. The point of the book was fulfilled before the final pages. I’m still used to series of works that have a point in each book, and then at the end set it up for the next one.

Book two starts upbeat, but then it ages. Concerning things happen. And it’ll even end with certain things resolved for that book, and yet will open up the world for more questions and things to happen.

Book three is probably going to change when I actually get to writing it. For the key scenes I have thought of, and the basic outline, is different. It is most decidedly a different direction than someone reading the first part of the first book would’ve expected.

But during book two I had though of making this a series, rather than a specific number of books. Including far-off future events, and how the current series would lead there.

I got too far ahead of myself. In fact I got so far ahead with those thoughts that it led to incredible stagnation. How do you write about something that happens at age 13 to a character, when you’ve already got ideas about things happening centuries later that they affected? It was a bit stifling. Years of stifling. Until I finally realized: oh, just throw all this out.

But wait, aren’t you doing it again, thinking about four when two isn’t done? Ah, but that’s because two sets up three, and with how three goes, I was getting worried for what I’d do for four.

And realized that one of the ideas I’d thought of during book two, no, during book one (but thankfully not written, just thought), had to be thrown out completely. No rule-breaking here, actually. See, I’ve got a bit of realism in my Lupine series, genetics. The characters obviously live in a world without certain advances, but even without high-level science, certain things are still known and understood.

I think I’ll have a bit of realism I’d thought of thrown out of my universe, and make book four something I had previously never even thought of. Nor thought was possible!

Not rule-breaking, just making sure I don’t write in a rule that ends up creating a darker path than I’d originally intended. It wasn’t going to end well. That’s been thrown out entirely. I can’t see the end anymore. Finally! I can’t see the end, and it’s a joyous occasion!

It’s good to be a god of your own little universe.

Hey, the book already had friction-less surfaces, non-carbon-based lifeforms, and non-radioactive light sources! And those are just the ones alluded to in book one. Even in the “real” world, there’s scientists looking at some research results that could possibly indicate a fifth fundamental force of nature. The four being the strong and weak forces, electromagnetism, and gravity. The lupine series is already set in a universe with at least five forces, possibly more, however, a force to be understood as magic is not one of them.

Too much knowledge of how the world works in a physical sense (or in some cases, a biological sense), can be really stifling sometimes. But I’ve been reading some old works where the author knew certain things were impossible, and still based them in the real world, everyone but the necessary characters still obeying regular physics. But hey, it was consistent, even if unrealistic. My consideration is that the universe itself is animation, rather than realistic. I’ve always thought of it as a cartoon or Japanese anime to begin with, but considered the implications of the universe in a real sense, rather than considering that perhaps the universe that is inhabited by my characters is, itself, more fundamentally anime.

This is all to say, book three is going to end a certain way. Considering I’ve spent ten-plus years thinking about these characters, there’s an interesting thing going on. Each book is also years apart, and there are timeskips in each. The end of book three will end almost ten years off from the start of book one. And so, as time has gone on, the characters and circumstances and the issues have grown with age. The characters are 7-11 in book one. It has a few events, but will be upbeat. Book two will have teens of some age in it at a certain point. It is different than book one. Still a journey, but of different tone, with more mature events. And three will definitely have some troubles in it, and obviously the characters who were kids at the beginning of book one will end three in later teen years for some of them.

Book four, I finally know what to do with it now. And it’ll be unexpected, considering the books before it. It’ll actually be something to look forward to. My previous restrictions had started making book four look like it’d go in a direction I couldn’t be sure of, that wasn’t going to be like the prior three. Now I have an idea. It’ll certainly be different, but something to look forward to.

To come in the next ten or twenty years. (This post alone was actually drafted two years ago. So hold the expectations.) However, two things now. First is… I’ve decided to stop selling my books elsewhere. They’ve been taken down by me. I have an about page if someone wants to contact me about getting them directly or for other business interests. Because I’m going to start posting them here, in short segments, over the coming years. A weekly post of a thousand words or two. It means I’ll also make some slight changes to past scripts, again, but in a format that’ll be easier to adjust. And two, which will just be left here without context:

TLPAHMJTSTWFTTOABBTN

About James Ashman

I write books of the fantasy, heroic, and adventure types. So far. I'm an author who loves fantastic stories.
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1 Response to Ideas for Book Four, finally.

  1. Sue Canfield says:

    So glad you’re doing this. I think it’s a great idea for you because for you it’s about your writing and creativity. Go, go, go!!!

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