Age of X puts me in a situation I haven't been in for almost seven years: starting a new series. Technically, I started a new series with Bloodlines, but it was built off of the VA world. That was difficult enough, and the biggest hurdle there was simply getting used to a new narrator and her view of the world I'd already created.
Age of X was sold to Dutton with a concept and storyline, but the first book (Gameboard of the Gods) hasn't been written. The full details of the world and characters also need to be fleshed out more in order for me to write. So, I've got a lot more to do than my usual task of simply outlining a book. I have to outline the series (you've probably heard me say I need to know the ending in advance) and also finalize the world and its rules, as well as character backgrounds. Yikes!
I thought it'd be interesting for people to follow this process, creating a series from the ground up. I'm going to do a series of blog posts as I progress and number them, like the title of this one.
So where are we at? The work I'm doing right now is a little weird. It's not the kind of stuff you can just sit and type. It's the part of writing a lot of people don't understand: thinking. And that can't always be done at a desk. Yesterday, I sat in front of my whiteboard and scrawled (with no real order) what I know so far about my characters and what the big beats of the first book/overall series are. It was a messy whiteboard.
I then sat down at my computer and spent the afternoon researching a couple of topics I needed to progress. I ended up with a lot more info than I was ready for! My brain hurt by the end, and I was kind of confused. But as the evening went on, and even this morning, I've had time to process it all. I've been able to pull the pieces of that research that I need and organize it in my head. Today I'll probably sit with a notepad and try to order some of those plot points from yesterday, combining them with the new info. I'm creating the "iceberg" you may have heard about in writing. When it comes to background info in a book, the author needs to know it all, but readers only need to see the tip of the iceberg. So even though you guys may only get a little bit of what I'm researching, I've still got to spend time and become the ultimate expert.