Okay, so Sevi not only threw a spanner in the works, she threw in a complete set of tools and the tool box as well. However, she’s not the only character to jump up and give me unexpected strife – I’ve got a bunch of them now.
Each book in The Khekarian Series stands alone, each with a suitable climax and conclusion, that’s true, but each book also continues the tale. So one character that takes on a life of their own to the extent that they effect the plot means ramifications further down the line, too.
This is all actually quite fun. It keeps me on my toes and gives me puzzles to sort through, as if writing the series wasn’t fun enough.
The core plot remains, but the surrounding ones all tug on it in different ways, usually catching me out in one way or another. This is especially true and delightful when it is caused by a character who originally wasn’t there at all, but who manages to so thoroughly influence the surrounding story that, quite frankly, they warp it.
I should point out that they always warp it for the better. Although not obvious at the time of dealing with it, I end up with books that are richer and more in depth than I ever envisaged.
Sevi, of course, as an elite Khekarian soldier, was the first to really challenge me. Once I had her in The Khekarian Threat, without a doubt she was indispensable. The story would now just be plain wrong without her. But, boy, did she keep me on my toes. I had to do things her way or she simply wasn’t the professional I wanted her to be. So I did things her way. Sometimes that caused issues, and (believe it or not) continued to cause issues in book two, The King’s Sacrifice. All dealt with, of course.
I find that the whole process really is delightful. I adore characters that take over and know their stuff. When I listen to what they insist on to be valid, I end up with a gem. I always listen.
Ialle was another character to take off and be bigger than life and more than I expected. He brought Shalsey with him and – bam! – book two interjected itself and plumped the series up another book. There will be many stories beyond the series because there’s a lot of room in a galaxy, so it’s going to grow.
Va’el is the latest to erupt (literally) fully formed and armed with attitude. I had him planned in adult form, but the kid surprised me. I had fun with him in The King’s Sacrifice, and there’s plenty more to come.
Other little things have intruded into my plans. For instance, the situation I had planned for another character, Miyr’l, had him at fifteen years old. Only I expected more time to get there (the flow was much slower in my original concept for the series), and so he would be fifteen at the time. Then – uh-oh – I brought the event forward for reasons of speed. A good idea at the time, except that it brings his age back down to twelve at the most, and twelve year-olds don’t talk or think like fifteen year-olds. Whoops! There goes all my notes and decisions on Miyr’l – that’s a rewrite.
So, the more the series grows, the more I have to keep an eye on, and the more ideas pop up for future consideration. Very, very nice.