Broken Valley and My Return To Neska

Adan and Garun from Broken Valley standing in the desert
by Owen
January 5, 2023

There’s something extraordinary about returning to a work you previously created, especially when writing a sequel. When I sat down to write the next installment in The Neskan Chronicles, I was filled with a sense of excitement and joy that’s hard to describe.

Part of that comes from being reunited with characters I’d grown deeply attached to when writing Founder’s Mercy. I spent countless hours thinking about Adan, Bo, Garun, Jenra, and everyone else, their motivations, desires, and struggles. I often thought about them, wondering how they were doing while I was away from them. Returning to them was like seeing old friends again after a long absence. I was thrilled at how they’d grown and changed and was eager to delve deeper into their lives and see what new challenges and adventures they’d face.

I missed more than my characters. I also missed Neska, the world I created for them. Building a believable and fully-realized world is one of the most rewarding aspects of writing. Returning to a place I created is like coming home. I know the ins and outs of this world and the way it works. I was excited to explore new corners of it and see how it had evolved since the last time I visited.

Writing a sequel also meant continuing Adan’s story. I’ve long had big plans for Adan, and my plan for him in Broken Valley included putting some of the focus on his trauma. Adan started Founder’s Mercy with trauma, being an orphan raised by the State. And the sudden gift of being able to use miraculous technology, the likes of which hadn’t been seen for centuries, was a double-edged sword. It made Adan powerful but put him in situations where he had to harm others. It made Adan a capable protector of those he loves and put those he loves in harm’s way. It was a fascinating psychological journey that even I wasn’t sure where it would go. But I think it paid off.

But perhaps the best part of returning to a story is the opportunity to continue growing and developing as a writer. Writing Broken Valley helped me build upon the skills and techniques I’ve already learned and challenged me in new and exciting ways. I got to try new things and push myself to be better and more creative. I love that my writing improves and evolves over time.

Returning to The Neskan Chronicles was a heartfelt experience–sometimes joyful and sometimes heartbreaking. But it reunited me with characters I’ve grown deeply attached to. It allowed me to return to a world I’ve come to know and love, continue an exciting and engaging story, and challenge myself as a writer. I’m excited to embark on the next sequel, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and my beloved Adan.