So many stories, so little ability to tell them.
Yorkshire Steampunk is on hold - that's not a bad thing as I was struggling to visualise the setting and I might have to spend a day in the library looking at old photos and stuff to move that forwards.
War Crime is on hold - I think I was over thinking that one. The early chapters were plotted out on mind mapping software and I was spending a lot of time trying to perfect how each little bit fit in, so it could be taken out, dusted off and waved about later. If you read this blog there's a good chance you like Dr Who and Sherlock. Both series that scatter little clues throughout the episodes that only make sense later. I was trying to do that, but I'm not really that good at it.
Echo 3, however, is progressing nicely. I've just this minute finished chapter three, a thousand rounds of ammo have been fired and first contact with an alien species hasn't gone that well. Somebody probably isn't going to make it to chapter 6 and there's a good chance that everybody is going to die.
Ok, I lied about that bit. The trick is to make it seem like everybody COULD die. Which is why somebody is for the chop shortly. Like spooks. Don't get complacent, your favourite spy is going to die. Nobody is safe.
I'm working on E3 rather than the other books, partly for the reasons stated above but partly because I enjoy writing them so much. I've got into my stride with Echo's voice - she does chapters 1 and 3 and I'm going to pay a bit more attention to York in chapter 4 as I've always found him a bit boring. If I could start again, he would get all the exposition and technical stuff, and Echo would get all the action, rather than it being mixed up. But we are where we are.
At the risk of a spoiler, I'm going to let slip that the Bad Girls make it through dangerous situations because I need the muscle. At the moment, all eight are part of a landing party and York's got a crisis and a ship full of people who never did a hard day's work in their lives. Bit of a mistake so I might need to bring Madeline Butler out of cold sleep. She's a lot of fun to write and will introduce the uncertainty of whether she will betray them again. But going back to the point I was going to make, some of the Bad Girls will not make it to the last page. Some will, but some won't.
This is definitely a trilogy. As much as I've missed Echo and York in the hiatus that followed the completion of Outcast (buy it on amazon), their story arc is coming to an end as I think I'm running out of things to say about them as a couple. E3 is less about them, more of an ensemble piece and tries to explore (but not answer) some difficult concepts, one of which is, what makes us human.
To make sure that I don't go down the Hitchhiker trilogy of four route, either Echo, or York is not going to survive. I haven't decided who and there are strong arguments for either. You might be going 'yeah, yeah, you've just said York is boring, therefore....' Don't bet on that. I'll discuss this in future posts.