If Any of You Are From the Future, Please Raise Your Hand

Posted on 14/10/2011 by

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I really want a time machine right now. Then I could go into the future and find people who’ve read my books and rant at them about the way these stories are falling together in my brain without violently spoilering them. (Okay, yes, I could use a time machine for lots of other cool stuff like acquiring a pet dinosaur, or making myself rich, or being able to buy french onion dip chips, but right now I want this.)

This afternoon I wrote down this rush of concept and explanation about where I’m going with this story and then realised there is absolutely nobody I can share it with without giving enormous piles of stuff away.

Me: Everyone’s going to die.
Paul S: Well we all are some time.
Caris: That’s not what she meant.

This blog is a bizarre kind of tightrope walk when it comes to talking about the books. Wizards is easier cause at this point I’d basically just be spoiling the worldbuilding and the first couple of chapters, so it’s okay if I give some of that away. But with Path because I’m working on the second and third book I can barely say anything at all because even mentioning character names gives stuff away — like you instantly know that they live till that point in the story.

And it drives me crazy, because I want to talk about them. For one thing, they feel like some of the most important people in my life. And for another, talking about my ideas when they’re still in that formative phase is like this bizarre kind of talk therapy for my characters. I realised a long time ago that the reason I would tell my mother about what I was writing before I finished was because she would ask these great questions. Questions that I didn’t have the answers to until she asked them. And then I would confidently explain to her as if I’d known all along. I still don’t know how that works but it’s brilliant.

Paul M. does the same thing when we meet up to fight crime. I say, I was thinking this… and he says, What about X? And how does the Y thing work? and I say, Oh, well clearly it’s got to be… And then I know. We were standing in a comic book store a couple of months ago and he asked me a question about the magic system in Path and we ended up stumbling over a realisation of how the series had to end. Which was awesome. Not least because until that point I’d been scuffing my feet and whistling and avoiding the eye of anyone who wanted to reassure themselves that I knew where this whole thing was headed. On the road to disaster, suddenly everything turns out fine…

So I am very happy there are at least a couple of people who’ve volunteered to be spoilered so I can pour the new story lava on them but some days it is very hard not to tell you all.