"Not bad," I say. "I'm doing a lot of brainstorming and mulling these days. A bit of writing, jotting notes, playing with ideas, and all that."
See, book three is tricky. This whole story has been based on the Fantasy role playing game my friends and I used to play; that's where a lot of the ideas came from--stories that had already been created. Mind you, very little that happens in the story actually "happened" in the game. There are really only a few events that I've used, and of course I had to create the story to go round them, not to mention flesh out the characters and make them real (one of the funnest parts of all this, I must say). Book one stemmed from Kyer killing Simon at the Burnished Blade. The rest of Dark Elf's Warrior came from my brain. Book two stemmed from an event in the game, wherein Alon Maer (Kien Bartheylen's wife) is terribly ill, and pregnant, and will die if our heroes don't find a cure. The visit to the wizard Kayme "happened" in the game, as did Kyer's rather nasty fall, and of course... The Gate. But now that I think about it, that's about it. The story surrounding those events was all me: The fact that the theme is Trust, the whole relationship with the Guardian, the antagonist's motivation and his goal (look at me not giving away spoilers!), the Indyn Caves situation, a certain pair of twin assassins named Misty and Juggler...
So why is book three so tricky? Now, here's why blogging is a helpful tool: I hadn't truly put those thoughts down in tangible form. I was thinking all along that I had to make book three up completely, but that's not the case. Sure I'm still not sure if they'll take that journey by ship, and if not, then that negates Skimnoddle's need to pose as the merchant Flavius. But if I don't use that, then it also means I lose Skimnoddle forcing Derry to be his lackey which is such a delightful abuse of Derry's gallantry. The battle with the dragon Greok is there, as is the ultimate confrontation... Ah, but IS it the ultimate confrontation? I'm not so sure. See, the Guardian is still around and is most definitely up to no good. Maybe.
Oh, it's such fun! I do have lots of things to work with, now that I think of it, at least as much as I had when I began Book Two. I just have to remember back to the time when I started writing it, and how long did that take? Crikey, I started it at the same time as Book One, because I had no idea how many pages the first part of the story would take up. The Kayme scene was the second scene I wrote, and much later realised that it would have to go in the second book. Sheesh.
I guess the message I am getting from this is that I just have to keep writing and it will all fall into place the same way the first two did. I don't have to plan everything now.
But yes, Tom, I will continue to walk round and round through my living room and kitchen talking out loud to myself to work out ideas. Writers, I think, have to be just a little bit crazy. And please, Tom, chat with Jock and help me with some brainstorming, ok?