It has been a long time since I last wrote, but I have never stopped working; not in my mind, anyway. Today I'm faced with some challenges that threaten the entire plot, but also decisions that may make my story a lot more interesting. Let me explain.
There is a lot of sight-seeing in this story. Almost all of it is unimportant itself, except that it is good for character development. The real problem lies in the fact that the context of this character development is dry, and difficult to make interesting. I'm trying to keep it short, and I've done a good job. It only takes up chapter. But a chapter at the start of a book (even if it's not the very first chapter) is crucial to the book's success. I don't want to lose readers because there's a whole chapter of tourism at the beginning.
I have already done a bit of flash-backing, probably too much considering it's all within a single chapter. But I'm starting to think if I have something at the beginning about the real point of this story--a narration or something from the New Earth or heaven part--people will have a reason to read on.
This is not the first time I've considered this. I have been reluctant to bring anything from the future into this first book. For one thing, I haven't completely developed my ideas for the next ones, and considering there could be as many as three or four, I don't really want to share too much from the later ones if I want any flexibility to problem-solve. I don't want to get into a situation where I can't change something three books down the line because of what I wrote in the first book. So I have to be careful.
I know this is the right move. I need something to connect the series, even at the beginning. I try to prepare myself should someone ask me what this story is about, and in my own imaginings I always hear myself saying "but this is just the first book. The others will be more interesting." Maybe this says a lot about how I perceive my own work. I don't want this first one to seem like it's just something you have to get through before getting to what is better; before you get to what you really want to read. From the outline I've done, it's going to be tense and beautiful and heart-warming and all the things I love about books. At least, that is what I'm trying to do. Which is why I'm going to have to do something about the beginning. I must say, it's a good thing we live in the age of computers so I don't have to reorder everything by hand.
I wish this update was less technical and had less rambling, but it's so hard to talk about it without spoiling anything!