With all the changes (minor and major) to the overall plotting and pondering over the MASC Chronicles, the mystery series saga that is slowly (and almost surely) falling into the fantasy genre, the actual writing of the series saga has been delayed (once again) in order to plot, ponder and plan the overall structure of the world, its history and the characters within. Those who have been diligently following this blog (those wonderful people out there in the dark somewhere) will no doubt know I’ve been long-winded about plot structures, character development and such without giving away any salient details about the series about which I am writing. I hesitate to describe in detail specific elements within the (still) sprawling series saga that spans several centuries with a generational cast of characters, lest there be any changes in the narrative, characters and other elements.
Of course, writing is an evolving process, with external influences and inspirations both ordinary and extraordinary impacting the shape of the story and/or character – a fairly recent influence that has led me to rethink sequence of events, exposition and (maybe) genre has been the A Song of Ice and Fire series written by George R. R. Martin (perhaps better known as Game of Thrones), an epic fantasy saga with [real world] historical parallels. As my series saga will be set in specific chunks of time within the last three centuries (one century for each series) in the real world (as opposed to a completely fictional one), the idea of inserting an alternate history element has emerged. I’ve always had an interest in world history, and toyed with the idea of “what if [a certain historical event] didn’t happen, leading to an alternate history which may (or may not) be ‘corrected’ by the saga’s end”.
While I initially set out to write a purely mystery series saga with quasi-stand-alone stories within, the extraneous elements (Steampunk, horror, fantasy, and science fiction) has seeped into the narrative, the character development and the overall exposition. At the moment, many of the aforementioned elements will be taken into consideration while I go forth in building and developing the world in which my characters dwell and interact with one another. Whether or not I continue with the notion of setting the series saga in the alternate history or keep with history as we know it [or at least as we accept it], there will be a need for copious amounts of historical research, a necessary evil in world building, and a time-consuming one at that – I wholeheartedly admire authors, like J.R.R. Tolkien and George R. R. Martin (surely it must be a coincidence that they both have double “R”s in their name) who are able to create intricate stories set in fantastical worlds, complete with complex characters, religions, historical events and so forth.
Though as I plan (so far) to keep my series saga within the “real world”, the alternate history plot twist might lead me to dip my toes into the world of fantasy world building (albeit marginally); on the other hand, having a mystery series set in a fantasy world has its appeal – I’m not quite sure if that’s ever been done before. Most of fantasy series of which I am aware have the protagonist(s) embark on a Quest to achieve a specific goal: retrieve/destroy a relic, vanquish the antagonist(s) and reclaim control of the kingdom. It’d be interesting to write a series focused on the “ordinary” events that occur independent from the aforementioned singular Quest, yet have an impact on that Quest.
[If that makes any sense…]
The question of whether to complete the world building before the actual writing of the story or create as you go along has arisen in one of the Facebook writing groups to which I belong: while I probably should focus more on the actual narrative and character development/interactions, world building is equally important, as it’s the foundation upon which the story is built – of course things can change while writing the actual narrative that could lead to adding/removing/adjusting elements from the world building structure or intended elements within the narrative could be hindered by the rules set forth in the world building design, which could lead to adding/removing/adjusting plot elements – another potential Writer’s Roundabout dilemma, all of which leads me [back] to an extended stay in the Land of Exposition. Again.
I’ve got a lot of pondering to do. Again.