My productivity over Christmas break was extremely hampered by a nasty outbreak of the stomach flu, and now that I feel somewhat back to normal, I find myself a day away from going back to work. Be that as it may, my brain has been churning regarding The White Thread and my next fantasy series (which shall for now remain nameless). I managed to get the first quarter of The White Thread outlined over break, but in the aftermath of my illness, during which I did not have the energy to write anything, but I did have the energy to think, I began to seriously ponder character development. I am a big believer of the value of a story being in the characters, and for that you need well-written, fully-formed, loveable but flawed, believable characters. If a character in your story is not all of these things, I don't believe that your reader has any real reason to stick with your story. I think that so far I have a good cast of main, supporting, and fringe characters in The Gateway Chronicles, and I'm trying to determine what, if any, new characters I am going to introduce in book 3. The setting of the story is going to be rather contained compared to the first two, at least that's how I view it, and it presents me with a unique opportunity to take some of my supporting or fringe characters and develop them more fully... if I decide to include them in this installment. I also have the opportunity in the confinement of this story to put some of the existing relationships truly to the test. I'm enjoying thinking about how, for example, Darcy and Sam's relationship might grow and change if they are stuck in a confined area with each other for a prolonged period of time. (I realize that I am overusing "confined" but I don't want to elaborate more on what this means for The White Thread just yet so as not to ruin any surprises). Anyhow, I'm going to keep taking notes and do what I can before the summer to prep book 3, perhaps even start writing it! Who knows.
In other character development news, my next un-named series is going to have a serious cast of strong characters! It came to life one night with a name (the same as how The Gateway Chronicles came to life when "Darcy Pennington" popped into my head). While I'm not giving away any names, I will say that it's going to have four main characters between the ages of 15 and 18 and I feel like I know them all so well already. It's going to take place in New York City, and the fantasy element is going to be more like a world within a world rather than a departure from this world. And that's all I have to say about that. ;o)