How Another Way was Written

According to my pre-planned structure, Book Three would have twenty chapters in three parts. I had some ideas from my notes, lots of real story ideas now, instead of just background notes, images from various sources, and altogether it was enough for me to fill out the whole Book. 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 from the central determining the nature of difference, and the distance from the branching point determining the degree of difference — or something like that. There are actually theoretical models in physics which I used as inspiration. 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 instead 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, and later learned that it 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 Book 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 had tried to write in which I didn’t do that. They always failed.

At the end of Book Three, the challenge for me was to go further than I had before. I was looking forward to it. If you want a copy, you can get it here.