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What A Difference A Decade Makes

I’ve come to terms with the fact that, when developing a series, not every idea will necessarily fit. Trying to create a plot that accommodates everything is usually a recipe for disaster –– you need to have discipline, understand the story you’re trying to tell, and then trim away some of the distractions… without gutting the fun.

Bearing this in mind, my notes from old series are littered with concepts, characters, and situations that never made it to the page. Sifting through these marooned ideas is an important step whenever I’m working on a new project –– in this case Black Sun, the successor series to Defense Command. Is there something I always wanted to do, but couldn’t find the right place for? Well, this morning I was digging through a binder full of old notes on the Equations novels, and I came across evidence supporting a note I wrote last week, about Alex’s origins.

Dated 2003, the picture below proves a few things: first, I can’t draw worth a damn. Second, I’d probably seen the film Underworld a bit too recently. Third, if you find yourself working on a story –– making notes, creating characters, crafting plots –– but nothing comes of it, don’t assume the effort is wasted. Ideas linger, and good characters are patient.

A decade later, Lady ‘Keiren’ has found a much more fitting name, better hair and wardrobe, a best friend, and a series all her own. From a random idea on a page amongst notes about the Krogg War, to a leading Lady… what a difference a decade makes.

So here’s the moral: never abandon old story ideas. If you do, they’ll track you down… and get their revenge…

But… isn’t a ‘keiren’ a cycling race? Would explain the helmet and the thing that looks like a bike pump…