I have had a BIG epiphany for books 4-9 of the Discordant Harmonies series. Yes, the books whose first volume is set to begin posting in June. First, some background.
Way back in 2012, when I started writing book 1, I had my friend Jennifer Amriss help me go through and develop titles for the series. Originally, I had the overall series title, Discordant Harmonies and three subseries titles: The Power of Music for books 1-3, A Life of Note for books 4-6, and Melodies of War for books 7-9. Book 1 was, as it is here, A Pitch of the Scale, a change from the “satisfactory” working title of Unsought Gifts. Book 2 is Severe Notes, book 3 Measure of Resistance, book 4 Antiphons, Book 5 Counterpoints, Book 6 Without Measure, book 7 Echoes, book 8 Cacophony Within, and book 9 To the End. In case you can’t see the theme, we basically opened up the Music Terminology Page at Wikipedia and drew up titles from it, mainly because it involves how music changes the magic on the world of Chraest.
Well, a few months ago, when I contracted for the covers of books 1-3, the artist who I hired to do it expressed some confusion over the titles, and when I explained what they were for, suggested I streamline them all. After some thought, I decided to scrap the subseries titles and just call the books the Discordant Harmonies series. With 9 books planned, I realized I didn’t want to confuse readers as the cover artist had been confused. While I sort of hated to give up the subseries titles, I understood the reasoning behind doing so, and mostly accepted the need, though I will admit to some lingering desire to use them.
This epiphany changed that feeling. I can’t get into details here, ’cause spoilers, but, boy, was it a whammy. It’s going to change things in books 4-9 in some ways quite drastically. This will move what was originally a climax for for the second subseries in book 6 to somewhere into book 8 or 9. It’s going to draw out conflicts for Asthané, allow Géta some time to grow and mature enough to face the challenges he’ll have in latter books, and make the progression of things for both characters more reasonable and much less rushed. Oh, and it’ll more than likely require the reorganization of the titles, and perhaps even the development of new ones.
What else this means is that I need to beef up the conflicts they’ll meet in the interim. Now I know why I’ve been thinking Asthané needs a better External Conflict. It means Géta needs better External Conflicts as well. Much as I’d like to keep the strict delineation of “subseries 2” from “subseries 3″, I honestly don’t think this will turn out to be possible. The original plot progression allowed for this, but I just don’t see how any more.
And this epiphany wouldn’t have been possible if the cover artist hadn’t convinced me to tear off some of the ‘boxes” I’d put around the different parts of my story about Asthané and Géta. So, special thanks to J.A. Marlow!