Timelines & Titles

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I didn’t do a post last Monday because I was taking a short break from writing to catch up on some commission artwork that had been piling up. While I still have quite a bit of work still to do, today’s blog post is special.

Why?

Because it’s release week! And I am about to reveal the titles for the next THREE (yep, I said 3) books within the AEON universe.

But first, a little talk about timelines.

No, this topic doesn’t stem from my all-time favorite cartoon guy, Mirai Trunks (or, as others would call him, Future Trunks). I’m talking about the way things have to progress in order to make sense. After all, you wouldn’t eat the chicken before you cooked it or try to build a house without blueprints… Would you?

I bring the topic of timelines up now because I’ve been arguing with myself (as I tend to do a lot) over the next few books of The AEON Files. I had previously asked in a web poll which book should follow The Bone Prophet: Sin’s story (TTS) or AEON 5 (TSF), but I hadn’t considered the progression of events. I had originally planned to follow your requests to do TTS next, but I realized that AEON 5 needs to take place before Sin’s story, because the former sets the stage for the latter.

Let me explain.

See, I do up a rather extensive outline for each book I write (or plan to write, which is how I know my workload currently sits at 28 more books to do). True, I don’t always adhere 100% to my outlines, but I do incorporate each detail I’ve outlined. These details include things like the premise, character arcs, plot and plot twists, scene set-up, and various notes that I make as I write up the book.

There are some authors who never outline anything, and view crafting an outline like a waste of time. And, if you listen to NY Book Editors, some believe the practice can “increase [a book’s] likeliness of being dead on arrival.” These “pantsers” (so called because they write “by the seat of their pants”) are able to just sit down and write, and usually end up going through several very rough drafts. Sometimes they even throw out the entire manuscript (even if it took them months to develop) and resort to a total rewrite.

I didn’t outline the first version of Dragon Diaries, and I ended up tossing out the terrible eighteen chapters I had spent the school year writing. I rewrote it without an outline a second time, and it was still terrible and full of holes. I got so frustrated by it that I stopped working on it in favor of fanfiction. That’s part of the reason why it took me nearly ten years to write the first half.

And then I learned to outline my story.

For writers like me, Randy Ingermanson, and James Patterson (just to name a few) making an outline quickens the writing of the actual book and usually keeps us from tossing out all the work we did. That’s because we have the key events of the book already drafted out, and we are able to quickly reference these points again and again when we create the meat of the tale. I can’t speak for other authors, but I tend to get so lost in writing that I forget about the points I need to make or the events that need to happen.

cbnThese days, I see outlining a story like filling in a color-by-numbers picture. The whole image is already there, along with the numbered sections needed to create the image as directed. All you have to do is fill in the sections with color.

And nothing says that you have to color the image exactly as the picture says. Just like I can paint those birds pink instead of read, I can easily rearrange the key events of my timelines so that they work to build up to the “big reveal” at the very end.

Though… there are times when the characters themselves have something to say.

While I was writing The Bone Prophet (TBP), my characters staged a take over and I ended up changing a number of things. Because of these changes, I realized that certain things had to happen before the events of The Grimm Kin (TGK – that’s now book #6 of the series), and those events would deviate too much from the story arc of TBP that the book would take several hundred more pages to fit it all in. And that doesn’t include the several new characters and locations to introduce.

Thus, TGK was pushed back for a second time, and the brand new TSF took its place in the timeline. And, trust me, the change is well worth it.

And with all my outlining, I could, in all honesty, give you all seventeen titles of the books that make up The AEON Files, as well as the titles of all my Dragon Diaries, Mars Chronicles, and Tomes of Rishai books.

Which brings us to the moment you’ve been waiting for: the title reveal.

Are you ready?

 

No, seriously. You ready?

 

 

 

Okay.

 

The next THREE titles within the AEON universe are…

 

Wanna know the remaining eleven? Let me know!

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