How Another Way was Written

According to my pre-planned structure, volume three of 20 chapters would have three parts. I had some ideas from my notes, I had lots of real story ideas now instead of just background notes, I had images from various sources, and it was enough. Jeanette had all five tokens now, and some idea that there was a greater power behind the enemies she had defeated.

One of the ideas I wanted to explore, further than I had done so far, was that of alternate realities. I had created a description of how these fit together, each reality was a branch off the central reality, its angle determining the nature of difference, and the distance determining the degree — or something. And I had certain images from the poetry I had written in college, which provided me with the context for Part Six: The Wither.

I had created a large icosahedron from heavy card, on which I had drawn a world of layers, which I had intended to use in a role-playing game, but I used it as the foundation of the world of Part Seven: Demon Warrior.

I had also made a rule, some time ago, when I wrote Jewels of the Dragon, that if I wrote something which I learned later didn’t quite fit, instead of taking it out I would work with it. Jeanette always assumed the form of the people of the world in which she found herself, and I discovered that I had violated that principle. She was different, not the same. And suddenly I had an idea of how to use that, which informed the whole of the rest of the part, and gave me a story far better than the one I had been leading up to.

In part eight I just knew that her enemy had intruded on her world, and sent her off to deal with that. The love-interest surprised me. The agent of the intrusion was really taken from volume two, but the way she overcame him at the end was a complete surprise.

I was getting used to surprises by now. I was writing free-form, moving logically from situation to situation but unencumbered by intellect, letting my unconscious creativity do what it does best — making stuff up as I went along.

There were other stories I tried to write in which I didn’t do that. They always failed.

At the end of volume three, the challenge for me was to go further than I had before. I was looking forward to it.