Sitting in one of my outdoors offices last Saturday (above picture) and working on the latest Pa’adhe tale, I also enjoyed watching some hawks hunting and thought (dreamed) about the future of Tales of the Pa’adhe. The current story, Ghost Ship, is story number nine, so there are two more after that which will be put to the blog. Then will be number 12 which will only be available in the ebook collection for a year before being posted to the blog as well. Number 12 is a milestone for me, one I very much look forward to achieving.
Thoughts of story 12 dancing in my mind led me to think about the stories going forward. Right now, the order of the stories as they were written is 1, 2, 3, …, 9 but in the Pa’adhe timeline, they run as follows: 3, 4, 1, 6, 5, 2, 8, 7, 9. Somewhere between writing numbers 1 and 4 I wrote the premise of The Final Voyage, so I actually have 10 stories already written or being written. The order of 7 through 9 is somewhat arbitrary and could just as well be 7, 8, then 9. I think that from here on out, each story will just go in the order it’s written, except for the occasional back-fill story. The first six stories had to be re-arranged for the Pa’adhe timeline to make sense — I couldn’t very well have Scarle join the crew until after Flight at least. I’m still not sure of the ordering for 1 and 6 so obviously I need to re-read the series in the correct order and make sure all falls into place properly.
Once that re-readings done and they’re sorted out properly into the Pa’adhe timeline, I’ll put them in the correct order on the blog. Right now, as you can see on the right, they’re listed alphabetically. That could be confusing for someone discovering them for the first time and who starts reading with the first in the listing. I better take care of this soon.
An author’s work is never done!
Another thing I need to deal with is to go through each story and ensure the spellings are consistent. I know I have some issues with Scarle’s name, for example, in the stories that were written before I finally broke down and realized I had to create a cast of characters and locales in order to keep things straight. That file is now kept up-to-date with each character that gets used more than once and with every place encountered.
I still owe my readers back story on Scarle, and possibly some history on the Captain as well. Cook and Xinu have had their stories told in Dreamland and Restaok, respectively. Scarle’s tale may go somewhere in the existing order or it may go onto the end of the timeline as it exists when I get around to writing it. Much depends on how I tell the tale, obviously.
The Captain’s tale, if I tell it, could be problematical when it comes to placing it in the Pa’adhe timeline. The Pa’adhe didn’t exist until the Captain created her, yet there is a little about his time before that which needs to be told. Some of it will come out in various future tales, that’s planned as there are a couple underlying arcs running through all the stories. Other aspects will be told as needed, perhaps in an aside, perhaps in it’s own tale, or perhaps when the Captain is being questioned in various tales…we’ll just have to wait and see.
Then there’s the cover images for each story. Right now I have cover images for five of the tales, one of which I am thinking of discarding despite how much I like it. That leaves seven more covers to create if I want them all to have a cover plate in the ebook. Oh, and one more for the ebook itself. These cover images will be unique to the ebook collection and like the 12th story will not be available on the blog until a year later.
The map is also outdated and needs to have a few tweaks made. This is another thing that I’m debating posting to the blog. I could make it unique to the ebook, but having a basic map for reference might be nice for readers. When I say it’s basic, I mean it. It shows the mountains, islands, is to scale, has a compass rose, has a mileage scale, and so forth, but it also shows some places the Captain hasn’t been yet and could be revealing too much. Or it could be a teaser for the story that you know has to be coming. He just has to go there, right?
I have that map as my background on my Ubuntu box now. As I sit here typing this while looking at the map, I see unexplored areas, changes I want to make to the map, an idea for one more island or island group and the tale associated with it. It’s a very rudimentary map at the moment, only four named headlands and 11 towns. There’s SO much more to explore here.
Along with all that, looking at the map makes me wonder if I need to write some more about the world itself? The various races, lands, peoples…how much more of that do I need to reveal? Or can I just cover that in each short story as needed and let the map do the talking? It could be fun to create all that, perhaps in a separate ebook? A guide to the world of Pa’adhe as it were. My notes file could be the basis of that, since I keep it in a sort of encyclopaedic format. Maybe that’s a good side project. The only problem is updating the ebook as time goes by. Of course, the solution is that this particular ebook is only available from my blog. That would ensure the reader always has access to the most recent copy and can easily update their downloaded copy.
There’s so much more I want to do, so much more to write.