In the midst of my pondering and plotting out my series saga the MASC Chronicles, and its ever-expanding exposition and cast of characters, I’ve taken to reading and researching other longstanding (epic) literary series for inspiration and guidance – after all, an aspiring author should also be an avid reader, mindful of the existing storylines, characters and concepts to ensure that the stories, characters and concepts in the work-in-progress have not already been written (if that makes any sense). As the series saga I plan on writing includes a large cast of characters spanning over several generations, with potential supernatural/fantasy elements, it seemed only logical to read up on other literary fantasy sagas, even though that’s not the genre in which I anticipate writing (mystery). Through circumstances unbeknownst to me (though most likely influenced by its popular TV adaptation), I delved into the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, better known as Game of Thrones, written by George R.R. Martin – borrowing the first five books in the proposed seven book series. I have yet to watch full episodes of the HBO series (though I have watched some scenes via YouTube and read selected episode spoilers online), opting to read the books first [as I write/type, I’m roughly a third of the way through the first novel A Game of Thrones]. Despite “knowing” what happens in the story before reading the books (it’s awfully hard to avoid spoilers, and I tend not to like surprises, unless I’m the one creating them), I find reading the source material engaging, with its multiple third person limited narration.
But I digress (kinda).
Researching (via Wikipedia and behind-the-scenes videos) about the world of Westeros and its historical parallels to real world history (The War of the Roses, medieval themes, etc.) has opened up an entirely new path upon which my series saga may travel, resulting in a return trip to the Land of Exposition via the Alternate History route. As a self-professed Anglophile, naturally that meant the alternate path would be set at a very specific point in English history, with a possible twist to the course of American history as we know it. I’ve always been interested in history as well as writing – I once had childhood aspirations to becoming a historian if I didn’t end up becoming a writer – fascinated by the world events that inevitably shaped how the world is today. I suppose writing a historical saga with mystery elements (with perhaps a dash of fantasy) is the perfect way to merge my two main interests.
So that’s the unexpected (yet should have been anticipated) twist in my (long-winded) writing journey – though upon reviewing old notes, both written and typed over the years, as well as recent musings, this (alternate) historical aspect of my mystery series saga was always there, albeit subconsciously. Now that this killer rabbit of a plot bunny has been brought to the forefront, it’s made the plotting process both easier and harder – easier in that, the (alternate) historical framework clarifies some of the Writer’s Speed Bumps I’ve encountered, yet at the same time it’s made things harder in that I now have to figure out how the exact (fictional) sequence of events work within the proposed alternate (yet real world) historical events meld together, and decide when (or if) historical events are “corrected” and merge back to actual history/reality or whether to have the entire series saga set in the alternate universe.
So it’s back to Character Development Inn in the Land of Exposition.
May the odds be in my favor…. oh wait, wrong literary series…