My prehistoric fiction writing is a collection of novels organized under the title, Man vs. Nature:
Written in the spirit of Jean Auel and Kathleen Gear, Man vs. Nature follows early humans as they struggle to survive a world where Nature is King and man is prey not predator. What didn’t kill these early iterations of Man made them stronger and gave new meaning to Darwin’s definition of evolution as ‘survival of the fittest’.
The next in this collection (a hundred thousand years after Born in a Treacherous Time) is Survival of the Fittest, Book 1 in the Crossroads trilogy. It is set 850,000 years ago, a time in prehistory when man (as Homo erectus) had reached most corners of Eurasia. You’ll meet tribes from Indonesia, China, South Africa, East Africa, the Levant, and Spain. These are violent people, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threaten their survival. Except one: future man, called by some scientists Archaic Homo sapiens and destined to obliterate their earlier selves. Here’s a preview:
Xhosa, leader of the People, is driven from her African homeland by ruthless enemies that want not just her land but to destroy her. As she searches for a new home, she finds danger, tragedy, hidden secrets, and others like her who have also been forced by timeless events to leave their homes and flee to unknown lands.
With a planned publication of May 2019 (Book 2, October 2019), here’s how I’m doing.
- I did some research on trilogies (this writing form is new to me). Turns out I needed a trilogy name as well as separate names for each book–I can’t simply call them Book 1, 2, and 3! The trilogy will be named Crossroads to reflect the dispersion of early man throughout the world, converging in a migration to a new homeland. I also need a name for each of the three books. Book 1 is now named Survival of the Fittest, to reflect the treachery and challenge of surviving an unknown world. Book 2 and 3–still working on those.
- I am wordsmithing Book 1 using Autocrit. I can’t believe how many repeated words I have! And passive voice (dang was, is, and had). And mitigation words (double dang could, should, might, and maybe).
- I roughed out Book 2 so I know what Book 1 must accomplish. There are a lot of loose ends still to be tied up in Book 3. So far, I have a two-sentence idea on that one.
- I started a digital note section in Google Keep to collect my thoughts for Book 2 and another for Book 3. I find that even as I’m doing something entirely unrelated, an idea pops into my head about one of my fictional works. Do you do that?
- I am reaching out proactively to historical fiction bloggers but not having much success. Anyone have suggestions?
- Here’s a map of the (Hero’s) journey in Crossroads trilogy. The characters come together from disparate parts of the globe and end up finally in what will be Gran Dolina, Spain.
Question for y’all: My collection of prehistoric fiction deals with different eras (hundreds of thousands of years apart), different characters, but the same theme of man vs. nature–how we survived in a violent world that should have destroyed us. I discussed calling it a series, filled with trilogies. I thought I’d settled on ‘collection’ (not great but adequate). But I wonder if Universe is a better term.
The Man vs. Nature Universe.
Like Marvel comics universe. I also noticed that Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch fiction is organized as the Harry Bosch Universe, to account for all the venues this fictional character appears (like his novels and Amazon Prime’s video series–which I love). I’m thinking of using ‘universe’ for my Man vs. Nature books–all my stories about prehistoric man–instead of the term ‘collection’. Say, Any thoughts on that?
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More on Crossroads
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and Born in a Treacherous Time, first in the Man vs. Nature collection. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today and TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning. Look for her upcoming trilogy, Crossroads, eta Spring 2019.