When I finished writing The Family Connection, I immediately wanted to begin the next book. But, in the past when I have done something like that, I inevitably had trouble finishing the second book. The reason was because, the second book really wasn't a book at all, it was in a very strange way, a continuation of the first book. It was where my mind went after having written the first one, and it never should have been put to paper. It was a documentation of the void time, that space of time that inevitably exists between one book and another. This void happens, even if a writer picks up exactly where they left off. There may be no space for the character, or the story, but there is for the writer.
In this space, this void, the writer purges their mind of all the fill story that exists concerning the core story. This is where writers sometimes write the "outtake" books, or side stories concerning lesser characters. It is in this void that writers fill in the back stories of their cast, but only in their minds. Unless of course, you are talking about an epic story. In which case, this void time is spent figuring out how twisted your plot is going to be in the next book. I have learned this past year that you cannot write an epic novel, like I just wrote a Cali novel. In one I can just let the story take me where it wants to go, like Isaac Asimov allowed so many of his stories take him. But, in the other there must be an overall structure or all the threads fall apart. It's easy for me to manipulate a few characters to match the direction of the story, but to manipulate a cast of dozens or more... that would be ridiculous.
So, I am not writing the next Cali novel while we speak. I am going to return to Michael. His story needs a conclusion. I left them at a wedding, not a red one to be sure, but a wedding. In the original book, I glossed over the wedding. In fact I simply stated that they had married. Their story line was not a focus at all. But, they are an integral part of the development of my hero's. Fallyn and Kira must be raised the right way or they will be bigger problems than they already prove that they are.
I wanted to make a statement with the marriage of Rolf and K'ili. In a world where they can not afford prejudice, it is running rampant, so rampant that genocide has been attempted by more than just the attacking aliens. It's ridiculous. With their wedding, I wanted to make a statement against prejudice. Also in the relationship that never takes physical form, between Lena and Ja'nar, I am letting my characters make a statement about love just happening to people. It's not something that can be confined to race, or gender, or even political convenience. It doesn't need to be acknowledged to exist, or for it to change your lives.
In the original, the party that occurred, was just a party. It was meant to raise spirits and to celebrate life. In a way it will still be that, but it will be more of a wedding party now. The reason for the party is not really important, just so long as it happens. In the entire book, originally, it was the party where I chose to follow the movements of several characters. It was while writing this chapter that I originally had the idea that I might be able to write an epic style novel. Little did I know that writing one chapter does not an epic novelist make. Wow.
It has been several months, since April, that I have picked up Michael's story. So, it will take me a minute to get it rolling again. But, when I do, I'll let you know how it's progressing.
Live well and be good to each other.