Bridgetown, only a few years later…

If there’s one thing I don’t mind sharing this early in game, is that sometimes breaking my own rules is what’s needed.

Originally, MU4 was to be set seventy years after the events in The Balance of Light. The reason for this gap, or so I thought, was to show how the perception of historical events changes over the course of a generation or two. Since then, however, I’ve come to the realization that I don’t have to wait that long. Our current history shows that perception, especially when put in the hands of certain social engineers, can change within hours, sometimes minutes. Why wait that long?

So, one rule broken: let’s think about MU4 taking place, say, a few months or a year or so hence instead. This means a few things suddenly come into play: the original cast of the Bridgetown Trilogy can return to some degree while I introduce a new cast as its central focus; I can explore a few worldbuilding points that I’d introduced in the books but did not have time or space to expand further; and most importantly, I can answer a few important questions (such as what happens to Denni/The One of All Sacred after the end of Book 3?) that I’d purposely left unanswered.

Any other rules to break while we’re at it? Sure. The other issue I’d had was that I was finding myself basing the New Cast on the Old whether I wanted to or not. I had maybe two original new characters I was fond of, but the rest felt like Poe Jr or Caren’s granddaughter or something similar. After a while it occurred to me: maybe the problem isn’t that I’m having a hard time coming up with a new cast, it’s that I really want to continue writing more with the old one. So another rule broken: fine, let’s bring back the Old Gang, since obviously my brain has things to say about them!

This brings up a new potential subplot: how does the Original Cast deal with the change of perception of the events they’d worked so hard to survive through and put in place for future generations? How do you react when an event that’s changed you mentally, emotionally and spiritually, is then seen as subversive, or dangerous, or outlawed? Or perverted for reasons of a power grab?

All these new questions are exciting and fascinating, and I can’t wait to figure out how to answer them.

And to me, that is a sign that I’m doing the right thing. Even if I am breaking a few rules. Some of which I’d laid down myself.

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