I had the idea quite a long time ago that my first and currently only published novel, Beneath the Surface, had material for a sequel. Or is it a prequel? It’s kind of a bit of both, and it also kind of runs concurrently with the events of the main novel.
This is the problem with time travel – it’s difficult to know when exactly anything really happens. Because of that, I can’t give too much away. But the three characters whose story I wanted to further expand on are pivotal to the actions of the main character, Maria, and are the key to whether or not she will ultimately succeed in her quest. They are characters from the future, but they also have a past.
I wasn’t entirely sure how the writing process for this would go, because in some ways, the stories of these characters had already been told – well, if you had read Beneath the Surface you would know where they all ended up, at least. But I soon realised that it was about more than just where they ended up (or would possibly end up, depending on how the timelines changed…). It was really about how they became the people that the reader first encountered in Beneath the Surface. And I also began to realise that it wasn’t just about these three characters, but about the many different types of people whose timelines were forever changed thanks to the actions of one man, and the complex connections they have with one another, without even knowing it.
It was the complex connections I had to begin with, otherwise the different stories would confuse each other rather than complement each other. This problem ended up being translated into several diagrams to help me make sense of it all. I find this method of planning quite effective – seeing those different pathways really helps to give an understanding of the journeys of these characters from start to finish.