Tag Archive: the tomorrow trilogy


The Great Debate, part 2

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. 😉

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The Great Debate

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. 

So…

Apparently, my brain really, really wanted to write Savin/Mitchel smut. 

Like I really don’t get this aspect of my writing routine but there just get to be times where I crave a specific pairing and want to write it all the damn time, even of my own characters. And it’s a little frustrating with THIS particular pairing, because it’s not canon. Ever. EVER. 

I have a weakness for antagonistic relationships, okay? The more two characters hate one another in canon, the more I ship it. I just can’t help it. It’s a thing that’s left over from my fandom days — meaning when I was way more active in it. Y’know, when I was 12-15 years old. 

Also, I intend to sit down and construct a couple of “How to Write Smut” related blog posts. A friend of mine jokingly suggested I teach him how to write smut, which made me all flustered and blushy because HE IS A BETTER WRITER THAN I AM. I adore this man’s work, I really do. Still don’t have the balls the straight up tell him that but I have mentioned that he was my favorite both times he competed in LJ Idol with me. 😉 

One day I’ll be a little more organized. Still getting used to a lot of the major changes going on in my life, right now. It’s been a bumpy ride. Here’s some of that smut I’ll be finding a way to repurpose for my erotica penname, I’m sure…

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*sigh*

I sometimes do this thing where I write things for fun. It’s the weekend, I don’t want to work on my erotic romance novella; I don’t want to work on polishing up a few more short stories to thrust onto some poor editor for a literary magazine, either. So I decided I’d fulfill one of the writerverse challenges. The challenge? Trick or Treat.

The idea? Write a story. Write two different endings to that particular story. One ending was a “trick,” the other was to be a “treat.” 

I decided I wanted to write something involving my future Savin/Jazz/Mitchel love triangle. Because look, I’m a sucker for triangles. Triangles are everywhere in my stories. I can’t write a novel without one, if there happen to be more than two  characters in the same story. I’m awful for this. I know I am. 

Except it wasn’t going to be canon. It was just gonna be me, getting some Savin/Mitchel and Savin/Jazz fun out of my system. Except the Savin/Mitchel version of the scene? So totally canon dialogue. It’s written in first person, though, because I thought — hey, I’m not writing canon. Why would I need to write this in third?

I do this to myself a lot. But now I have dialogue, and character actions, that I can at least salvage when the time comes. This scene can’t be too far from the end of the book — Jazz and Mitchel are still together, but it’s obvious that their relationship is about to end, and Savin’s more or less no longer in denial about how badly he wants to be with Jazz. But I just… yeah, I’ll just show you the Savin & Mitchel version of the piece:

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Busy Little Bee

You know those people who, when their lives start falling apart, they bury themselves in work and just kinda push themselves to figure shit out one day at a time. It’s also a great method to deny that shit’s falling apart. After all, if it’s not actively in your face and you’re doing work and you’re doing it well, how could anyone say you’re falling apart? 

I am that person.

And in the second half of May, my life unraveled at the seams. By July, all I had were a few threads painfully clinging to one another, unable to let go until the last, heartfelt tug was given and the knot broke apart. 

To say I was utterly broken would be an understatement. When writing doesn’t happen, when it’s painful to eek out 500 words in a day, I’m in bad shape. Writing is my work. Parenting is also my work. Cleaning the house, making sure everyone is taken care of — these are the things I do, the things I throw myself into when things are tough. When I can’t even do that….

A couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post about how my therapist says I’m not allowed to stop writing. That I need it. He’s not wrong. Word counts are how you know how well I’m functioning. Finished works are an indicator strip; the higher the number, the better I’m doing. 

Today, I submitted another erotica short for publication on Amazon — it was one I wrote a few months ago, that I edited to stand alone. I also wrote a 1400 word chapter for a fanfic, because I wanna play and not work. And I wrote 750 words for a novella I intend to publish when the time comes. It’s actually an expanded version of another short I published on Amazon; when this one is finished, I’m taking the short down. Tomorrow, I hope to submit a work or two to a magazine. Start the process of trying to get my non-erotica related name out there. 

After all, it’ll help when the time comes for my novels — the ones that aren’t purely erotic romance — to get published. I’d like to go the traditional route with them, if I can. We’ll see what happens. 

Until then, enjoy some fic, where Savin is basically me:

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