Five Year Difference at the Same Time

I’m writing two novels at once. Yes, I am crazy but not because I’m writing two at the same time…I’m crazy because the two I’m writing are in the same universe, with the same characters, 5 years apart. Which would be interesting enough if I had outlined the stories and knew who would be viable 5 years in the future, who wouldn’t be part of the story at all, and even where everyone would be. But that’s not how I roll. No, apparently I want to make things 7 layers of difficult for myself. I guess that’s how I know I’m really working.

The good news is that these are both Stone Dragon Novels (as if I would be working on anything else right now-pfft) so I know most of these characters intimately. The bad news…they’re still 5 years apart and I don’t know everyone’s background for those 5 years.

How would you handle this? Would you wait, finish the first novel and then outline the next five years? Would you move full steam ahead and never look back? Or something in between? I’m not very far in to the second, so it is feasible to do either…but I somehow find myself working on both. I breeze back and forth; trying to remember where each on is going and who is on the pirate ship but also in the classroom and how they got there and and and and and…you get the picture.

Right now, the only new character I am dealing with is a small dragon named Cornelious the Scribe. He has come over from Faronia (middle of the 4th book in the series and I finally named the world!) to learn human writing forms from Anna, who has now become a 5th grade writing teacher! (And is also on a ship in the middle of the Caribbean attempting to translate ancient pirate hieroglyphics in order to rescue Al’s parents).

PHEW! I’m tired just thinking about it. Quick, someone get the chocolate and watermelon Coke!

Ok, I’m back and better now. That was a close call! Maybe I had better just get back to work. While I’m hard at it, why don’t you guys tell me what advice you might have for this situation…or a funny anecdote about your own writing! I’m looking forward to the distractions.

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