It's an interesting process writing a series of books. You start with an idea and run with it and as you move along so the idea begins to take over. At least that's the way it was with me.
I like reading book series. I like the feeling of knowing there's another book out there with the same characters that I've got to know, who will have some more adventures and progress towards an ultimate destination. I often feel cheated by those short novels that just touch the surface of something before they simmer into a conclusion.
A good epic fantasy takes you on a journey that can last a long time. I like that feeling. I like to really get to know my story's characters.
When I first started writing my Xannu series of books I had a rough idea of where I was headed. I knew I wanted to write a series of five books and I sort of had the overall plot mapped out. I'm currently in the middle of writing book three and a lot of things have changed. The creative mind is an amazing thing. Plots have come up that I never even envisaged. Characters too. Several of them actually. Elements of the overall plot have changed well beyond what I originally thought. Somehow the original concept of the book has matured. During my writing I have found my purpose of the story. It has become something that I didn't even realize I was going to write when I started that journey.
Book one has a lot of the standard elements of a fantasy story, with other things sprinkled in for good measure. But, as a reader, I think you get the sense of where the book is headed. When it reaches it's climax you are pleased. There's been a few surprises along the way but you are left with a warm feeling inside and an idea of where book two is going to go. And that's as far as I let you get comfortable. As you read book two I start to make you question the assumptions you made in book one so that by the end of the book there really are a lot of unanswered questions in your head. Then in book three several things are blown completely out of the water, so to speak, as the sands shift once more. Ultimately this series of books will hopefully make you question everyday assumptions you have made about life in much the same was as the book tries to do. That is my intent. I have already rewritten the ending to book five several times in my head already, probably in much the same way as JK Rowling did with her series. I'm still not 100% sure where the journey will take me. I'll have to see where my creative mind ultimately takes me as I explore its outer edges.
Writing a series of epic fantasy books is a great responsibility. Your readers get to know everything about the world you create and will not accept you cheating them out of a good story. They feel they have invested in your make-believe world and so you had better keep getting it right if you want to keep them reading each successive book. I hope I am doing my job well enough. Now what was my next idea?