Sometimes, when you are writing a series, the story takes a big leap. Things happen, in a way that will affect the rest of the world/series as you write it. I’ve been having a lot of that go on lately, as I’m working on Night Vision—book four of the Indigo Court Series, but in both of my series– Otherworld and the Indigo Court—I’ve reached the point where major world shifts are happening.
In Shadow Rising—book 12 of OW and my newest release coming up on October 30th—Menolly finds her world changing, forever. All three sisters are in the midst of huge personal transitions, but in Shadow Rising, I throw Menolly into the fire. Not all change has to be bad—some of it can be quite good—but either way, change forces us to grow, to meet the challenges required.
When a character doesn’t grow, I get bored. If they keep making the same mistakes, never learning from what happens to them, if large shifts don’t affect them, it can begin to feel like I’m reading the same novel over and over. And I won’t write my books that way.
In order to feel like a fictional world has depth, and that characters are real, they must evolve. When a good friend dies…when somebody falls in love…it not only changes life but it changes outlook. When someone suffers a brutal attack, it affects how they deal with the outer world, and how they look at themselves. These changes enable character development.
Following a series is like traveling on a journey with the characters. And that journey should make the characters question who they are, and why they act the way they do. It should force them to ask hard questions about what they want and believe. At times, all characters must slip and fall, then pick themselves up again and learn from what happened. Because if a writer is to make the world real to the reader, it has to include failure as well as success.
In Shadow Rising, I call on Menolly to undergo an important ritual. A few books back, she wouldn’t have been able to walk through the fallout from this ritual. Either the good—or the questionable—changes. But after eleven previous books (three of them focused directly on her), Menolly has worked through her issues. There will always be new challenges, but she’s grown. And that growth gives her the courage to undergo what happens in this book, which leads directly to new revelations about her vampiric nature.
Now, readers sometimes get upset when characters change, and while I understand, I ask them to think about this: These characters live in the writer’s mind. If we don’t help them grow and evolve, they can stagnate, and feel tired, and our writing can seem lifeless. And if we—the writer—lose enthusiasm for our characters, then the reader will feel it and lose their enthusiasm too.
So, what changes have you gone through that have made you a stronger person? One winner who answers my question, or leaves me a question about my books, will win a $25 gift online gift card to either Barnes & Noble, or to Amazon, their choice.WINNER IS PENNI – congrats!
Yasmine Galenorn Bio:
New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn writes urban fantasy: both the Otherworld Series and the Indigo Court Series. In the past, she wrote mysteries and nonfiction metaphysical books.
Yasmine has been in the Craft for over 32 years, is a shamanic witch, and describes her life as a blend of teacups and tattoos. She lives in Kirkland WA with her husband Samwise and their cats.
Buy her books Here