With only a few chapters left in my novel and fifteen or sixteen scenes remaining, I have reached the point where I start asking myself, “What’s next?” Now, I know I’ve said in the past that the first thing I want to do is edit Kolor Ijo (my NaNoWriMo 2012 novel, back when I writing stories half the size of Act One of this novel), and someone I know said I need to start on the horror novel I promised to write about three women in Alaska tentatively titled Midnight Lights. Yes, I always have titles for my stories before I start, though the titles can change as I go along.
But if I were to poll most of the followers of this blog, if the question of what I should do next came up, most would say, “Write the next novel! We have to see what happens to these kids!” I mean, I do know what’s gonna happen to them for like, oh, the rest of their lives and beyond (yeah, I even went there), so really, with all the notes and maps and research I already have, sitting down and writing the next novel isn’t that big of a deal. Just plot of some of the detail and rock and roll, baby.
Part of that reason, I believe, it not because I’m getting older and I’m going to die before my characters, but that people want to know what’s going to happen. I get asked about “things” and “stuff”, yeah, and there’s always questions about Annie and Kerry’s relationship and what’s going to happen between them. I’d love to tell, believe me, but I’ve got River Song reminding me not to say anything. (River Song is a time traveling character from the BBC show Doctor Who, and she’s famous for a particular expression . . .)
But this morning I was thinking about the novels ahead–and, yeah, there’s probably a good chance if I don’t die any time soon, I’ll get to writing them–and while I was laying in bed for the twenty minutes or so it took me to decided to get up and get out, I worked out not only this post, but the titles of the three acts of the third novel, C is For Continuation. What? You don’t do that? You should try.
I’ve stated in another post that the C Levels will likely be the hardest for Annie and Kerry. Lots of loneliness, lots of personal issues, lots of feelings unworthiness. It won’t be a good summer holiday for either Annie or Kerry, and when they start their 2013/2014 school year, their C Levels, they’ll find themselves push harder than they’ve ever been pushed before.
Act One will be titled “Seasons of Change”, and that’s exactly what happens: there’s a lot of change for them both. Most of the change comes for Kerry, and his suffering bleeds over to Annie, who is being pressed by a certain Seer and a certain Sorceress to be the best little bad ass dreamwalking Dark Witch she can be. They are forced to confront a necessary truth about their relationship which starts coming about in the B Level novel–and I can imagine at least one person here rolling her eyes and mumbling, “Noooooooo! I was right!” Believe nothing I say; when it comes to these novels I’m a worse unreliable narrator than Tyler Durden. OTP they are–you can ship that without fear.
Act Three will be titled “Seasons of Renewal” and this brings about the feeling that things aren’t just going to change, they have and they do. They decided to put all the crap that’s followed them for months away, they’ve struck out in new directions, and by the time they leave school for home and Summer Holiday 2014, very exacting promises are made so there will be no repeat of what happened during the previous summer. In fact, these declarations lead right in to events that are touched off in the fourth novel, D is For Determination.
You’ll noticed I skipped over Act Two. Well, here it comes, and to get the title I’ve semi-ripped off the title of probably the best Star Trek: Voyager episodes ever. Act Two is titled “Seasons of Hell,” and that’s exactly what it is: Hell Up In SIGEL. It starts with the most miserable Yule both kids ever have, and that’s the high point. Kerry gets those feelings of abandonment and Annie’s about to lose it on here folks. They get back to the school and Kerry takes off on the Polar Express, an event I’ve been thinking about even before I wrote a post about it in December, 2011. Things don’t go well on that, Kerry almost dies again–no, his name isn’t Kenny or Rory–and Annie’s about to flip out again. Give it a few weeks, though, and Annie does flip her shit on a student, and that situation is bad enough that Helena has to threaten to put her, and her equally stressed out boyfriend, down, and as a result they both need face time with the Headmistress–
And just when things look like they couldn’t get any worse, along come the Guardians.
Only it’s not Mr. Gabriel running the show now: he gets replaced, and if you’re following my Genesis connection to some of the characters in this novel, you’ll know the name of the person who replaces him. This is where they first go off to San Francisco, then off to Paterson Gap, and I ain’t gonna lie: the Paterson Gap test is gonna be hell. It’s gonna make the Battle in the Link Bridge look like a stroll in the park.
One of the lead-up scenes has Annie and Kerry getting into the outfits they’re wearing for the Gap Test, and Kerry–ever the pop culture geek–asks, “What is this, the Hunger Games?” No, Kerry, it’s not–it’s worse. It’s a lot worse. Let’s just put it this way: when the test is over, Helena goes to pick them up at the CDC, and we all know what The Foundation keeps there . . .
There, you now have a look at what’s coming. Not everything, just the big overview. There is so much I didn’t touch on, because . . .
I’m the only one who gets to live with those.