Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Post Dreams of Stars: Sequels and Spinoffs

As I said before, Dreams of Stars was meant to be an origin story for Deborah, but I quickly found that writing new stories for her was, um, basically impossible.  The root of the problem was her nature: she was just TOO damn powerful.  There was never any danger for her, any drama.  The only way to tell any story with her was to reduce her power in some way.

Dreams of Stars was the easiest, because it was set BEFORE she was fully powered, and I found ways to limit L'lorne and Ritch 'arrd in the process.  After that, things got hairy.  One story had Deborah deliberately cutting herself off from her power and most of her memories, but really that was just interesting for moments, nothing more.  Any other story could easily swap out any member of the Order with Deborah and have the story work exactly the same, so there was nothing unique there.

I did come up with a sequel to Dreams of Stars, however, a direct one even.  Hawk Wings is the current title and it is not the same story as Dreams of Stars, at all.  So much so I suspect that if you really enjoyed Dreams of Stars as a story, Hawk Wings would probably be a disappointment.  Still, it's goal is very clear:  wrap up Deborah's life on Earth before moving on.  It fills in some holes, solves some mysteries and helps better define her relationship with L'lorne.  When I get to writing it is another story.

Of course, I never really viewed Dreams of Stars as a pure standalone story, it was meant to be grouped with two others.  The first is What We Leave Behind, Roxanne's story.  My problems with this story are many fold, but primarily attempting to fit the description of it that L'lorne and Ritch 'arrd each give, as it is meant to be a love story in a sense.  It is far more actiony than Dreams is, by a lot (Roxanne fights off aliens invading her version of Earth), but it also needs to be more subtile and emotional than Dreams.  Roxanne is NOT the same level as L'lorne in this story, as it is merely the first chapter of the the much larger in-universe book that is What We Leave Behind (the version I write is the "short-short" version).  I have found some ways to make it work rather recently, so I hope to be writing it soon.

The other is currently called Unconditional, and takes place far into the future.  Deborah is actually in this story, but isn't the main character, though she does play an important role, a mentor/parental figure to young Maia, who was born into the Order.  Maia describes herself as having "the body of an 8 year old, the mind of a 30 year old and the powers of a god" but she isn't happy, at all.  The story is how such a person finds how to grow up and be happy.  It is actually more like Hawk Wings than anything else, but not quite.

Then, of course, is the larger collection of stories about members of the Order, of which currently there's only one complete, and I'll post that in the coming weeks.  There are other ideas for stories, including ones that originally featured Deborah but really don't need her, stories about the philosophy and power of being part of the Order and other things like that.  World building stuff.  Don't expect to see much of that any time soon, it was hard enough getting Dreams of Stars out the door.

Finally there's the larger meta-universe in which the Order, Deborah and everything else takes place, the story of Quinn and Delphi and the grander journey they're both on.  It's all about the nature of immortality, multiple universes, alternate realities and how it effects the one person that has to suffer it alone.  Quinn's story is something that I can't really write as it is, effectively, a string of self-insert fanfictions (Quinn is a replacement for me) that takes place over a portion of time that makes Deborah's insanely long lifetime look short by comparison (seriously, her lifespan covers 1/12th of Quinn's).

But we'll get to some of those stories in the future.  Next time, I'll have something up in the story part, I've got enough bits and pieces to do it pretty regularly.  In the meantime, I need to get back to writing webcomic stuff.  Until next time kiddies and thanks for reading.

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