Monday, November 17, 2014

Moving a saga along

Editors at Twin Griffin Books are on the grind to put together the final product of Brooklyn’s Lilac Brew, the second installment of The Fable Avenue Saga. But as edits are applied, suggestions are considered, and queries are answered and resolved, I realize more than ever that I’m not just writing Book II of this series. I’m also laying the groundwork for what’s to come, and in this particular installment, it’s a lot trickier than in The Ghost of Gabriel’s Horn. This isn’t just an installment to a saga, the saga is one looooong book. And I gotta make sure all the chapters line up, because a couple two-t'ree of them are being published separately in large volumes.

There’s always been an outline for the entire series, once I figured out how the story connects. I knew what would happen in each installment (book) and how each book would lead into the next and leave a breadcrumb trail of clues pointing toward things to come. In the final stages of editing for Brooklyn’s Lilac Brew, coinciding with a lot of note writing and reviewing for Book III, I’ve found myself rewriting dialogue and scenes so that something introduced down the way doesn’t seem too random. I also don’t want the ‘breadcrumb’ of information to sound forced. I try to make it sound as conversational, and as pertinent to the story at hand as possible. How the ‘breadcrumb’ plays into the larger story is played down, given a passing mention. That’s been the tricky part, but I found a way around that [secret ingredient withheld…sorry]. One subject in particular, by book’s end, becomes a topic of discussion, which is an obvious lead-in to Book III. But in the final scenes of an installment to an on-going story, of course that happens.
Though history is often explored in Brooklyn’s Lilac Brew, the goal is to move forward, pushing the story ahead and into the future and toward its and the Fable Avenue saga’s conclusion. The Ghost of Gabriel’s Horn does this, but there’s a slightly didn’t outcome in the mechanics of the story. The Ghost of Gabriel’s Horn takes place between 1917 and 1957, not including the past lives of characters that arc back to the 1700s, expressed in the epic poem The Son Dial Tone. The main story itself is not told in chronological order, starting off in 1957, arcing back to 1917 and moving up to 1938 and then jumping back to, and concluding the story in 1957. Doing this allowed the story to reference itself. For example, in ‘57 we see the character Curly Burneside state that Sarinda has gotten impatient, no longer appreciating the drawn out battle and fight. He states that this wasn’t always the way. Arcing back to 1917 and going up to 1938, we experience Sarinda’s more patient side, but we also get to understand the experience that may have worn on her. As for future series events, there are small hints of what’s to come laid down throughout the book, even in the Epic Poem The Son Dial Tone. The obvious stuff comes from Joseph Pepper IV’s dialogue, but that still rings into time periods that the rest of the saga will cut back to.
Brooklyn’s Lilac Brew will show Joseph Pepper IV’s London adventure, taking up his story from when he said farewell to his beloved, sultry jazz singer Theresa Amat. It will also tell the tale of his excursion with legendary mystical outlaw Thunder John and The Brother Dogs, as well as delve further into their mythology and origin. Brooklyn’s Lilac Brew will also explore Joseph Pepper’s conspiratorial claims on what started World War I, what was found in the German occupied colony of Tanzania that spurred The 1884 Berlin Conference and jumpstarted the politics that culminated into WWI.
For the most part, Brooklyn’s Lilac Brew and the rest of the series will be set in contemporary times. The biggest clue about the modern Fable Avenue culture comes in The Ghost of Gabriel’s Horn, expressed in Theresa Amat’s prophetic words as she gives birth to her daughter Philomena. “Dooley is a lilac flame…”
As the series moves forward, editing goes through its final stages for Brooklyn’s Lilac Brew, and as the outline for Book III thickens, I’m getting to know this second installment more, and seeing exactly what it needs to lay the groundwork for the rest of the series. I’m finding myself jumping back into BLB and saying, “I need to flesh this idea out enough to be accepted when its story really comes out.” or “I need to pull this back a bit, it’s a little obvious.”
I’m sure readers will inquire about some of the concepts, and I can answer “yes” or “no” on whether they will play a greater role in the larger story. But how they play out is a whole other story. I’m just making sure that all things have a proper connection.
Stay tune for some quotes from new characters from the Fable Avenue series...
b write black