Dust blew off shelves, and I considered a few sequels. I can't publish Neon Gods Chastised by Thieves right after I've written it. The story collides with Neon Gods Derailed by Claws.
In turn that story rubs shoulders, and knees groins, with later books. Yes, they are arranged alphabetically. No, that does not mean they take place in some semblance of chronological order.
The first book was labelled steampunk. A frothy alleyway of the sword and science flavour, this clockwork sewer tributary of a term is neither here nor there to me.
Still, if the shoe fits, Cyberella...
I've been writing this series in some strange mosaically-inspired fashion. Eventually, the tiles will fall into place and we'll all see the bigger picture.
Weeding is helpful. I found two chronologies - which makes sense. There are snippets from the dim past, and those have a place in the mosaic.
What I found unacceptable was the different time-frames I'd employed across the files. The ancient era ends with the death of a despot a century before...
He's cut into chunks.
The year 500-odd is remembered by characters who grew up in the shadows of relatives and their remembrances of times past.
So far, so normal.
With the Tyrant's death, a new broom swept in and life rebooted in the year 1. The main story kicks off with the death of a king in the year 99, and the conspiracy that unfolds in 100.
So far, so normal.
Events from the Tyrant's time spill a long stain over the stories that happen a century on.
Everything seemed easy enough to work out. Except, in one file, I labelled the early events in negative numbers leading up to the Tyrant's fall.
So I had three numbering systems going. Weeding is helpful. All that year -25 nonsense is gone. I created a list, year by year - with the old system and the new - showing who was born, who died, what happened...
And I banished negativity. This happened in the year 500-odd. And then, after the Tyrant's fall, in the year 23...
I have whole sections written and whole sections planned. They must flow in and out of competing stories - whole novels - and still make some kind of sense when viewed as a mosaic.
Progress is glacial. But it is progress. Dozens of files contain notes. Gradually, they are absorbed into larger files. These characters go on that adventure...
And those characters turn elsewhere.
This character appears across volumes.
I have been drawing maps and making charts. Spitting teeth. All to build this strange mosaic. Readers should get it when they see what happens in book two.
Like that. Or...
That's more likely.
I mean it in a good way. Though bad things must happen to much-loved characters. Not that you know who those much-loved characters are, yet. Leave that nonsense to me.