So every few months or so, I sit here and I start to think about the Tomorrow Trilogy. 

More specifically, I’ll get hit with an idea for book 3, Gray Morning. Keep in mind that I am a discovery writer. Also keep in mind that I force myself to write in order, because otherwise I will just sit here and write bits and pieces of a book but never actually go anywhere with it. I actually did that for so long, with writing pieces out of order and trying to make them stand alone, I tend to be a little repetitive — even when writing in chronological order. 

It’s a bad habit, and a hard one to break. I’m still working on said habit, but I’ve been getting better about it, too. But when I write out of order, I don’t tend to write things that can be easily pieced together, and that’s an issue. Gray Morning has almost always been the exception to this rule. Because whenever I write a piece of it, it might be out of order, but I tend to write a chunk. A scene progression spanning several chapters, usually. Last I touched it was back in May, and now I’ve written three pieces of it this week.

Thing is, I’ve been sitting and turning over things for the Trilogy in general. I don’t feel fully inspired for Seize the Day, and I feel that the outline I have now is a little draggy. Is what I have enough conflict? Do I have a clear antagonist? Etc, etc. I do, but he’s really not standing in Ryin’s way enough, I don’t think. And I don’t think I can stretch the basis of my plot to the word count I think the book needs without it feeling repetitive and boring. 

Which brought me back to this debate I had maybe a year ago — maybe closer to two years ago, now. Can I squeeze it down to two books instead of three? Now, to understand this, I went from originally thinking this was going to be four books. Then it went down to three. Then two. Then back up to three, because I wanted to include a particular subplot that kind of evolved into its own plot.

Except now I’m thinking that particular plot (book 2, Surrender the Night) is unnecessary and doesn’t do a particular character of mine justice (Jordine). She deserves her own book, one free of the world I’m still remodeling for the Tomorrow Trilogy. It’s definitely based on Earth, likely some far future version of it, and do I really need this plotline? There’s plenty enough drama with Ryin becoming Emperor and then dying and then Jazz having to take his place, and the adjustment/protections they need to make to ensure their safety as Emperors, etc etc, and a civil war, and —

So overall, I don’t think I need it. But I’m unsure of how to pace Seize the Day in order to move into Gray Morning and cover the romantic subplots that exist. Because Mitchel and Jazz’s relationship is important, Jazz and Savin’s relationship is important, so is Jazz’s relationship with Ravi… These three things overlap and I need enough time to pass and enough events to occur to make the progression of these three make sense. 

But the overall self-destruction of the Empire, too, is vastly important and comes to a head in Gray Morning and is the driving force behind it. So Seize the Day needs hints of that happening. I originally had the idea that the Movement was separate from the Resistance — and maybe it is, or maybe the Resistance is a splinter cell of the Movement, like I originally thought when I developed the Movement, in the first place.

Maybe the two books focus more or less on Ryin, and then Jazz, coming to terms that their Empire isn’t perfect. That their lives won’t ever be perfect, and that they need to determine their own destinies and their own pathways to happiness. Same with Savin. 

Either way, out of the two (three?) books, Gray Morning always speaks the loudest. I know what happens in that book. I know what the main conflict is, how it’s resolved. Seize the Day and Surrender the Night, not so much. Maybe I just need to start the book with the moment Ryin becomes Emperor. Maybe there’s a book after Gray Morning, and it’s the book that’s in the middle. After all, I don’t think the story necessarily ends when the Resistance wins. Maybe I’m handling this all wrong. 

This is why I can’t ever seem to finish this, and this is why I struggle with it. I refuse to restart Seize the Day. I have seven chapters of it written, and I wanted to make the next 50k of it my NaNo project this year. Maybe I’ll reread what I’ve written, cut what I feel needs to be cut, and start from there on Nov 1st. I don’t want to look over the current outline just yet; I’m not sure I can stomach it. But maybe I’ll reevaluate the outline, too, and try to just let the story take me where it wants to. 

I swear, no other novel of mine gives me nearly as much trouble as this damn series. 

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