Sometimes you step around the corner and realize the road is taking you in an unexpected direction…
I have to admit to feeling a little lost right now having concluded my week’s stay in New Mexico and Last Word Before Dying on the same day a week ago. Every week (except the week I attended a funeral in January), beginning last summer, I’ve posted installments to the serial and now…
Now it’s time to make some minor revisions and seek feedback before publishing.
So, here I am on a Tuesday and there’s no serial. I don’t know if I’ll do another one in the future or not, but for now I’m enjoying the break. Shayleen’s story was an intense journey for me that was full of learning and deadlines.
On a personal level the serial brought with it an unexpected dilemma and it all has to do with the Ontyre timeline (yes, there’s a timeline). The original beginning to the series was to have been Where Light Devours. It’s an epic tale of about 130,000 words that spans Summer Moon Season (SrMS), 4162 to SrMS, 4163 (SrMS is the middle summer month). The sequel to Where Light Devours is The Other Side of the Aperture which begins the same month that its predecessor ends.
Everything was just peachy.
And then I wrote Last Word Before Dying, which at around 60,000 words is near the minimum for a novel. Worse, it takes place over a mere 5 weeks in the spring of 4163. Yes, Light overlaps it. Placing it second between Light and Aperture breaks the epic narrative. Placing it first before Light is worse in a chronological sense because the larger story begins nearly a year sooner.
And then I had a thought when I realized that my subconscious had been moving along these unexpected, parallel roads all along. Light and Aperture represent the beginning of the epic Ontyre Chronicles, a series of novels I’ve long had planned. Though Word is a new tale, it isn’t alone as a short Ontyre story. I have others bouncing around in my head and they’re all shorter, too short to exist as novels.
Hopefully I haven’t lost anyone yet.
Anyway, my thinking is this: two parallel series that take place in the same fantasy world. One, The Ontyre Chronicles, will feature the epic novels. The other, Tales of Ontyre, will consist of short novels, short stories, and even poetry. In some cases the individual tales will be so short they’ll only appear in collections (Word is long enough to stand on its own and will still become a free ebook this year).
There’s precedence for this, for other authors have collected short pieces and added them to the existing canon. Of course, I could just throw all this into the enormous Ontyre salad bowl, mix it up, and let everyone sort it out, but I wouldn’t want to pass up the opportunity to obsess over organization.
And so the Ontyre family grows…
Ontyre Passages: website dedicated to all things Ontyre.
Ontyre Visions: Pinterest board dedicated to Ontyre images.
The Ontyre Chronicles: epic fantasy novels.
Tales of Ontyre: short novels, short stories, and poetry.
Will all this work? Depends on how well I execute it.
Thus far there are no plans for a site dedicated to me singing songs from Ontyre. My singing voice is banned in sixteen states and there’s emergency legislation on the way in a dozen more. H’m, still, there’s a certain appeal to such an idea…