One of the best things for me as a writer about being early in a new series is the excitement of world-building. I like researching and discovering not only who my characters are, but also why they are the way they are. I love seasoning the story with bits of folklore and history because I believe it helps to make the characters more real for me and for the readers.
So while I was writing the first of the Sons of Anubis series, Seducing the Jackal, I percolated ideas for the second story, Hunting the Jackal. A scene that stuck out for me was how one of the females, who had been sequestered for their protection, had kept vigil for one of the cursed jackals. When Tia and Markus broke his curse a guy carries him out, with the female jackal following. Hhm, I thought, there’s something there. What’s their story?
I’ve got these long-lived descendants of Isis and Anubis. What were the ramifications of being nearly immortal? How many are there? How do they reproduce? Can they reproduce? I mean, I’m saying Sons of Anubis. Are all the jackals men?
I didn’t think that would be fair. So, there are female jackals, they are just few in number. Very few. Since they are so few it stands to reason that females would have multiple mates in the effort to keep their population stable, if not growing. It also stands to reason that a long-lived race would have a low birth rate, even though the jackals desperately want offspring. Those men who were unmated and too jackal to pass as human would need some sort of outlet for their sexual needs. It also stands to reason that some clans might not be as stable as this one, and might not treat their females the way the Atlanta clan does. And just like that, the seeds for Hunting the Jackal were germinated.
I could go on about the world-building and how I conceptualize my writing. Most of my ideas come to me as I’m winding down for sleep. I fix a core thought in my mind, and tell myself to work it out in my sleep. Usually I’ll get the answer by morning. If I’m really lucky, I’ll get a dream that plays out like a movie for which I’m the only viewer. That’s when I know I’ve really got something going!
How about you? Do you dream through your roadblocks?
Photo Credit: One-Six Photography