One of the wonderful things about writing a series is that, once set, the same backdrop applies to the stories that follow – the Universe remains the same, the places, familiar characters, politics and wars are all there – that saves a lot of time and a lot of thought and is a real bonus because only the plots have to come from scratch.
That said, I have discovered the other side of the coin which, strangely, is added complexity. A series (if you’re lucky) grows, branching outwards in all directions. The backdrop might remain the same, but it won’t be long before you’re taking one set of characters and bringing them together with another set of characters, or playing one location against another.
I’m extra lucky, I have a whole galaxy at my disposal (lots of planets) and two warring empires, each much bigger in scope to the Terran new kids daring into space colonization. There are characters in there I have grown very fond of and don’t want to lose, so their stories will loop back into new ones as they unfold, bringing complexities I had not considered, each section and story intermeshed and spiraling around the others – much like the galaxy they are in.
I love it. I search for new ways I can plug bits into other bits so that the whole is interlaced in intricacies that are nevertheless easy on the eye and the mind. Each reader wants to be enthralled and drawn in, not confounded and forced to think. I want my readers to love the adventure and want to stay, although I fear I have already lost those who desire a simple single-tracked read.
Yet, for all the convolutions I toss in the way and the many characters you meet, my stories are easy enough to read, probably because they are told on a personal level. Whether they are high up in society or low down, it is the individual I work into a variety of circumstances. There is adventure there for all of them and plenty of a reader to enjoy – it’s just that the galaxy is quite big really and seems to be getting bigger.
At least I don’t have to bring all these characters together for some final showdown. That would be complexity in the extreme.
But no, I’m not going to end it in a Black Hole… I’m almost certain.
(With minor changes, this was originally posted as “Will my Sci-Fi convolutions spiral me into a Black Hole finale? Nah!”)