For some time, I have been thinking about something, so I’d like to touch on that topic today.
Many authors stick to one universe, one world they build for their characters. And incidentally, they stick to their characters too.
I never really understood that. I liked it – because I liked the characters – but I didn’t understand why.
The books I have in my “pipeline” are all over the place: thrillers, history romance, science fiction, contemporary romance, mysteries, dramas. The characters are all over the place too. And this is because the stories just come and they don’t decide to sit in the same basket either. So how is it that for many other authors they do?
I will come back to this.
I am currently “setting up my new universe”. And when I say setting up, I am really just researching what had happened some 300 years earlier.
Unlike the Uni world 5000 years in the future when I could simply imagine things, in my new story, this “universe” actually existed. I can’t simply make things up.
I can (a little bit) walk out of the truth in order to propagate my plot – and I will – but I do need to stick to the major guidelines. I cannot swing it too far.
Another bit that I need to “set up” are my new characters.
These are not Dora and J, or Jane and Sam. These are all new people. The people with histories, sorrows, triumphs, doubts, passions and needs. People with families and friends. People whose minds are closed or open, superstitious or scientific. People who are governed by things they were told by their parents when they were small. People who are changed by the things they lived through which shaped their character.
Real, living people you could almost recognize on the street – after reading the book –
if you saw them. This is how true these people have to become.
People I. Don’t. Know.
Yet, at least.
So I think I understand now.
Authors stick to the same universe – the same characters – because they know them so well. Old friends they don’t want to let go.
In one of the beautiful reviews of “The Vision” one reader wrote the following:
“This is one of the finest Science Fiction series I’ve read in years. I will deeply miss the characters, I’ve come to love them. The ending was unexpected and glorious but I’m not ready to go.“
I know what they mean. I am not ready to let my DOE characters go either.
But, as you have heard me saying many times before, the stories I write just come. They don’t knock, they don’t wait for me to open the door either. They swing through and settle in the middle of my living room without me even inviting them.
So, I have to write these stories and I have to write these characters. Fighting it is futile.
But – I will always miss my time with Dora and J 🙂