Adding More to the Family Tree

Did a little more family tree work this morning, which involved a few hours of skimming through the entire Jump Space manuscript, trying to figure out which characters were actually connected to the main family. (Lots of them.) I found a few more, have added those to the tree.

There are lots of incidental characters, and I don’t think there’s any need to include them on the tree? I’m trying to make things as clear as possible for readers, but there’s a point of diminishing returns — just including a huge appendix of all the characters, places, flora, fauna, etc. in this universe might be something I keep for myself, but I don’t think it’s something most readers would want in the book. (Maybe in the supplemental materials on the website. 🙂 )

I find this kind of work difficult — it requires a type of painstaking concentration that’s very hard for my ADD brain to process, even with the meds. Drafting new scenes is MUCH easier. But there comes a point in every book project when you have to go through and make sure things are actually consistent. In theory your brilliant copyeditor will take care of that for you, but the more of it you can do in advance, the better, esp. since you’re likely to have an agent, editor, etc. reading it before it gets to your copyeditor, and you don’t want them to be painfully confused.

Since I have multiple linked books going in this universe currently, that means that if I change Peadar to Patrick in Jump Space because some of my workshop folks didn’t read Peadar as an Irish name and I wanted them to get that, I have to remember to go change it in any OTHER books he shows up in. Which I just did. (This is Maya’s father, for those keeping track…)

And hey, this isn’t really a spoiler, so for those following along, I’ve just decided that Jenny, from “Hush,” which will be coming out from Tor.com in March (soon! yay!), is actually related to this family too — she is, in fact, Patrick’s first cousin, and Maya’s aunt.

Although there was a rift on the family some generations back, and the cousins ended up on different planets, so have probably never met — although Jenny works on a pilot and has been to Patrick’s planet, so you never know. Maybe she sought him out at some point. It’s possible! Something that might be determined in a future story…

See, *this* is the part that’s fun for me. I love inventing the relatinships between people, the backstory. Now, why was there a rift, is the question? Why did Jenny’s family settle on Antira seven generations ago, and why did Patrick’s family go to Solvida, and then to Kriti instead?

Hm. This is starting to seem a little implausible, if both family lines have been on different planets for several generations. I might have to rework this so they’re much more distant cousins (which is fine, but will require a bunch more work in the genealogy program)… (Jed)

(No spoilers in this family tree, for a change!)

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