September is here and my word count for Book II is growing, if inexorably slow. (But the Connell Red apples are getting huge on my trees!) I'm working on the ending scene, which I intend to make as good as The Spaces Between. I've worked out some knots, so to speak, and it is coming together nicely.
That said, I have a few more threads to add to the picture. Belden and Welcfer are flat, but they are still there. So, I spend a little time in the subsequent books to build the world a little. But, alas, I have to be careful, too. Too many threads and side stories could spiral this thing out of control, and I have committed to a trilogy. The story is set in how each book ends, so I will faithfully remain within that model.
I've also been reading A Dance with Dragons. George RR Martin has a unique ability to really throw readers for a loop when it comes to his characters. While I think it gets a little excessive at times ("OK, now you killed Mr. X, and that's not fair"), I think it works. When is life so cut and dried? Is the hero of the story really the hero? Who are the good guys? And are the bad guys really that bad?