With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I told myself I was going to figure everything I needed to figure out about the Tomorrow Trilogy prior to resuming writing any of Seize the Day. I’ve spoken to a couple of other writers in an effort to get the ol’ brain moving.

Ryin IS getting removed. So is the Natural Born subplot. That leaves me with focusing on Jazz, Savin, and Mitchel. The Empire? Stays. Jazz can be next in line like Ryin was; he could also be eschewing his duties as next in line, in favor of living a life he’d prefer to live.  Except as the story progresses, he’ll get more and more involved in politics.

A friend of mine, Jen from Just Another Blog, suggested doing one big outline that’s composed of all of the major points from across the whole series. It was something I already intended on doing, because I need to have a good grasp of this so I can figure out where Gray Morning really fits in. She also suggested that maybe that was the first book. I informed my other writerly friend Sarah from A Place that Does Not Exist of this idea, who was like maaaaaaaaybe that could work compared to my OH FUCK NO.

…Yes, I sometimes have harsh reactions. I can be stubborn, especially when it comes to this particular series. Gray Morning was never intended to be book #1. Too much of Jazz and Savin’s backstory would simply get brushed aside and crammed in if it was.

However, I started my outlining process by attempting to figure out the character/relationship related story-lines, first. Not necessarily in any order, because that’s not how these things come to me at times, but the character stuff is the backdrop that’ll determine the Empire-related stuff. I’m not big on symbolism, but the Empire has ALWAYS represented the progression of Jazz and Savin’s relationship to me, especially in Gray Morning when everything is falling apart. 

There’s also Jazz’s history with Mitchel, and Savin’s (lack of) knowledge of it, because those things are vital to Savin and Mitchel’s antagonistic relationship. And Sarah presented a good question to me — just how much of it do I need to show? Do I really need to show Jazz and Mitchel’s relationship from the beginning, or can I start towards the end of it? Do I have to show the whole progression of Jazz and Savin’s relationship? 

For Jazz and Mitchel, starting at the end of it is probably best. Jazz, of course, is still struggling with his role in the Empire at that point. He’s only (some age between 25 and 28), his Uncle (maybe his father; I’m still undecided about that aspect of things, right now) is pushing him to become more involved with the Empire. Obviously, he doesn’t want to. Politics just isn’t for him; he’s grown up with it since day one and hates it. Not entirely sure how he and Mitchel met, but Mitchel’s ten years older than he is, and has a hefty political career. I’m going to assume they met that way, and started dating.

The big thing with them was that Mitchel never wanted to be “out” about their relationship. Difficult to do when you work together, right? So Jazz is getting to the point where he’s fed up with it. I think this is where Savin enters the picture — how Jazz and Savin meet, I’m not entirely sure. Before it was through a coincidence, but I’m not sure how much I’m liking that, anymore. Or well, not the coincidence I went with, originally, anyway. 

I also want to change Savin’s relationship with Mari. Her being his ex isn’t really working with me; or at least, the drama surrounding a previously passed breakup doesn’t sit so well with me, anymore. I do like them being ex’s that had enough time to heal to become great friends; that was their dynamic by the time Gray Morning hit, anyway. Why not just start there? 

So I’m slowly figuring these things out, character-wise. I think Jazz doesn’t actually become Emperor until he and Savin are already together, but I think it happens a lot sooner than I planned. Essentially, they get together, Jazz is made Emperor, and then a few months down the line, Jazz proposes. He wants a partner to help him run the Empire; his Council (including Mitchel) isn’t enough help. Those years he spent shunning his responsibilities are catching up to him, and now the Empire is starting to fall apart. 

There’s an anti-Empire movement growing, too, by this point. Savin doesn’t know whether he wants to accept Jazz’s proposal — marriage is legal for everyone, but once Savin marries Jazz, he knows his career path is going to take a hit — being the Emperor’s husband (and therefore Emperor, himself) means practicing medicine will be out of the picture. Medicine is Savin’s life. You know how some people throw themselves into work because work is the best thing ever? That’s what medicine is for him. Jazz knows that. Jazz promises Savin he won’t have to give medicine up.

Except things start getting worse; the Resistance has a name, now. And demands for the Empire itself. And Jazz can’t keep his promise to Savin, and —

Well, now I sorta figured out how to get to the meat of Gray Morning‘s story. I guess I needed to story vom a bit. 🙂

As a bonus for following along this far, here’s some of the next part of Vicky & Mordecai. 😉

After a couple of weeks, Vicky seemed to have found her rhythm. She had gotten up and out of bed, selected an outfit, and took a short shower, all with enough time to eat a small breakfast as well, every morning. When her driver knocked on the door, she would walk out and climb into the car. She’d lean back in the seat and close her eyes as they drove towards Mordecai’s office building. Mordecai would greet her as she walked into the office — he’d either have her right then and there, or make her do work with the promise of him taking her, later. The other secretaries wouldn’t so much as look at her, their noses turned towards the ceiling and their eyes focusing anywhere but on her.

She almost preferred it that way compared to the occasional glance of pity. Though now, she couldn’t quite grasp why they pitied her — perhaps the looks weren’t out of pity, but jealousy. After all, Mordecai chose her over them. Mordecai bent her over his desk and took her from behind — growled instructions in her ear as he filled her pussy with his come over and over again.

Still, sometimes he’d be a little too rough. Sometimes he’d take her by surprise, reminding her that she had agreed to be taken earlier that day when they had discussed it. However, her body would yield to him, accepting his cock as he pushed it inside her. She almost craved it, now.

That morning, however, was different. Mordecai didn’t stand in the lobby waiting for her. In fact, he was no where to be seen. Vicky glanced at her phone, pursing her lips together. He hadn’t left her any messages — which was customary on the days where he had to travel. Often he would simply fly her out on a different flight, if he felt he would desire her services while traveling. But he always, always sent her a message informing her of his plans.

Her stomach caved in on itself just a little when the girl at the desk acknowledged her. “Mr. Falconi wants to see you in his office, Ms. Morrison,” she said, painted lips pursing together into a small frown. Her eyes were clouded, almost remorseful. “I would suggest buttoning up your blouse.”

Vicky gave the girl a confused look, but did as she was told, anyway. Her fingers fumbled over the buttons as she made her way towards Mordecai’s office. This time, there was no one standing in the halls, no strange looks given to her by her quasi-coworkers. As her hand wrapped around the doorknob to Mordecai’s office, she hesitated.

Was she in trouble? For the past few weeks, she had managed to follow every single one of Mordecai’s rules — even the new ones as they cropped up. Instead of opening the door, she tugged on her skirt and pulling it down to cover just a little more of her legs. She then took in a deep breath and held it, twisting the doorknob and pushing the door open.

For the first time since she had began working for Mordecai, she noticed him sitting behind his desk. There were none of the customary stacks of paperwork surrounding him. Mordecai had his hands folded on top of the desk, and his eyes were hidden in a shadow. “Ms. Morrison,” he said curtly. “Please, stand directly in front of my desk.”

She did as she was told, not once questioning his order. She kept her lips tightly shut, her knees locked together as she stood in front of him. She placed her hands in front of her, tangling her fingers together as she studied his face for any sign of what was wrong. Slowly, Mordecai stood from his seat, smoothing down the jacket of his suit once he was on his feet.

“Ms. Morrison, I gave you one simple task upon coming here as my assistant,” he said, his voice firm. He spoke softly, though he didn’t need much volume to convey his frustration. His shoulders squared, and his jaw clenched, just the slightest bit. “I gave you several weeks to clear the paperwork from my desk and organize it. You have failed to do it.”

Vicky blinked, her brow furrowing together in confusion. “You told me that I didn’t need to worry about completing the task — just getting it done right, Mr. Falconi,” she said, choosing her words carefully.

Mordecai didn’t blink, his jaw instead clenching tighter. “Did I ask to hear an explanation, Ms. Morrison?” he asked, his fingers drifting to the knot in his tie. He tweaked it, his frown deepening as he did so. “I don’t care for your excuses. From now on, I want the job done before you leave each day. When Wesley comes to get you, you are to tell him you can’t leave until your work is done.”

Vicky felt the slightest twinge of frustration build within her, but she swallowed it back down as she nodded her head. “Alright,” she said, her voice thankfully remaining steady. Mordecai didn’t say anything in response and instead walked around his desk, his long fingers trailing over the edge of it.

“You are aware that I will need to punish you now, correct?” he said as he stood in front of her. Vicky gave a slight nod of her head, not trusting her voice this time as his hands came down heavily on his shoulders. He gripped them tightly, nails digging through the thin fabric of her shirt. “Strip, Ms. Morrison. Now.”