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Hello, Readers!

Today I’d like to talk about world-building. Concentration has been in short supply around here lately, and I hope if you’re reading this that you are home and safe. It has been incredibly difficult for me to focus of late, but I will not give up! I’ve had my week of news and freak-out, and it’s time to move back into some writing. 

So, let’s talk about the Light Chaser world…

The Light Chaser series is evolving in a backwards sort of way. In the past, I’ve written short stories for both the Lens and Aster Wood series when I’m in between books in those series. I’ve liked being able to show readers glimpses of those worlds and allowing them to view characters from different perspectives and times in their lives. In the Aster Wood short story Flight, we get to see Kiron as a young man on a grand adventure. In the Lens short story The Socialite, we see the reality behind those Service recruitment videos Riley has watched for years. 

But the Light Chaser shorts are quite different. I’ve had the same desire to show those who will be main players in the upcoming novels at different times of their lives. But along with it, I’ve found that the world has grown up around these stories (and quite unexpectedly). As I’ve said before, sometimes I write by the “seat of my pants.” These stories have allowed me to really let things flow out of me in a natural, unencumbered way. Of course, when writing a novel, I have to have some idea of where my characters are headed. It’s just too risky to get two-hundred pages into a story and then realize you don’t know where you’re going! But a couple thousand words has a lot more wiggle room, more space to explore and imagine a world.

So, how do I do it? What inspires these stories? Real life, sometimes. My characters go through the same ups and downs that all humans do, and their lives are woven from a complicated series of threads, just like all of ours are. Readers may find that one hated character was abused as a child, or that one who is loved used to be anything but lovable. 

*** SPOILER EXAMPLE AT END OF POST ***

One other major source of inspiration for me is images. Originally trained in photography, when I see an image that moves me, it really hits me deep. Two examples of artists who have helped inspire this series are Dawid Planeta and Tithi Luadthong. Check out their work, and let me know what you think. I see magic there, and by that I mean the type of magic that exists in our world, the “real” world.

Do you have a favorite character or world I’ve built that you’d like me to elaborate on? Choose any book, series, or character you’re interested in learning more about. Email me at books@jbcantwell.com and let me know!

One-Million Word Counter

So, I’ve failed spectacularly in the task of adding to my 1 Million words project this week, as you can see by my word count thus far. I didn’t write One. Single. Word. That won’t last forever, though. Some hour soon, I will be back in the saddle, writing my heart out. I swear it!

Until next week…

Happy Reading!

Jen

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

One example of this in the Light Chaser stories is the character Egan, Bree’s (our main character) father. His childhood was made rough by a difficult father and terrible, shattering circumstances. These experiences, and many others of his I’ve already written about in these short stories, shaped him to be the man he is at the beginning of the Light Chaser series. He’s not a good guy, but not necessarily a bad guy, either. He’s complicated. Like us.

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