And then I started thinking about it…
Marketing really isn’t my forte. I pretty much suck at it, in fact.
But somehow or other, while free-writing in 750words.com, I was writing about a plot bunny that hopped in the other day, and I got the “brilliant” idea that writing little short stories to go with The Academy of the Accord series would be a good idea. I would post them here on my blog and they would be a fun way to promote the books, raise interest in them, etc.
But then I started thinking…
There are twelve books in the series, some of which aren’t written yet. Should each one of them have a short story?
And how long should the short stories be? (Answer: as long as they need to be.)
And what would they be?
Book One is the start of it all: Marsden and Vinadi meet, overcome obstacles, learn to trust one another, and begin to plan the school. I was thinking that its short story might be something from Marsden’s childhood – there are a lot of options there: the incident with the captive wizards and tortured non-humans, something that shows his early training, something with his family, especially his youngest brother…
Lots of options.
Book Two is the start of the school, and introduces five new characters. Tough to choose something from that, but I do have one in mind, one that will show the nature of one of the characters, and his relationship with the others. I’ve been kicking it around in my head for a while anyhow.
In Book Three four of the above mentioned new characters go on a journey, sort of a rite of passage for the wizards in the group. When they return, they find that Vinadi has hired an assistant – someone that none of them like or trust. I think the short story for that would be how Barlen came to be there
Book Four introduces Senzu, a Wyverian apprentice wizard. (Wyverians are a race created during the Wizard Wars, sort of a humanoid dragon.) I have a couple ideas for a short story to go with it, or maybe I can combine them into one: they do fit together, and would provide a good back story for the book, and it would tie in neatly with Marsden’s comment in the book about the fact that he and Vinadi took a lot of journeys south.
Book Five gets messy. (Book Five is messy.) It used to be the original novel (well, the second version of the original novel) and I’m not quite sure where it ends as parts of the latter part of it are being torn out and moved to the starts of two other books. (I swear, I’m naming Book Five “Migraines.” Or “Excedrin.”) So I currently have no idea what to do for a short story for it.
Book Six is one of the books being sort of gently untangled from Book Five. Or at least the start of it is. It’s another book that I can’t really come up with a short story idea for until it’s written, especially as the only thing I can think of sort of gives away some info that I don’t want revealed yet.
Book Seven is the other one being untangled from Book Five, but I have more of it written and planned than I do Book Six, so I have a couple ideas for it. One involves the focus character, Brythel, slipping out of his house (before he came to the Academy) to go listen to the minstrels in the taverns. The other involves Brythel and his cousins, and sort of sets the stage/provides some background for events in the novel – except that some of those events are also tangled into Books Five and Six. (The three are sort of set semi-concurrently.)
With Book Eight I’m out of the confusion of concurrent novels and back into a straightforward timeline. It introduces Terhesh, another Wyverian, and is set just after the end of Book Seven. I’m not quite sure what to do for his short story yet, but I’ll probably do something set at Arcane Academy, which is where he started his training as a cadet. It can involve Rarian, who shows up in Book Ten, and it would really help to have their past relationship sorted out before he gets there.
Book Nine is also written. Mostly. I sort of stopped because I got confused as to who was where and never wrote the last couple of scenes. There are a couple minor characters in it that would be fun to explore as a side story – or two. In fact, one short story is already started, and the other is the plot bunny that started this whole short story fiasco. (And, no, they cannot be combined.)
Book Ten is started but hasn’t gotten very far. Two new characters have been introduced, an apprentice and a cadet (Calef and the aforementioned Rarian) who left Arcane Academy to come to Accord. I think the short story for this one will reflect back to something that happened in Book Eight.
Book Eleven is done, and has so many short story possibilities that it’s giving me a headache, especially since one of them could work as a short story for Book Nine as well, and it is already spawning two. (Feast or famine…)
Book Twelve is going to (hopefully) wrap up the story arc that has been running through the previous eleven books. (Please? I don’t think I could handle a thirteenth book!) Since I haven’t even begun to outline it yet, and have only the vaguest idea what happens (other than finally confronting the villains) or how it happens, I have even less than no idea what to do for an associated short story. Maybe something with the villains…
See what one innocent little plot bunny can do?
And why does this make me feel like I’m writing fan fiction for my own books?