A Set Point, that’s what I’ve needed for a rather long time for the whole of the Grizzyverse.
I work with a very fluid sense of time’s passage for the stories and worlds that comprise this universe, in part because my own sense of time is so odd and in part because I take flagrant advantage of a phenomena which I call time distortion, or the Narnia Effect. The simplest answer is that time does not flow equally between worlds. One year on one world may equate to a thousand years on another one, or fifteen minutes on a third world. It makes some plot twists somewhat legitimate in terms of allowing a newborn character to be a viable participant in events not long after their birth… or allowing a character to remain in childhood for far longer than should be possible.
Of course, rampant healing-based magic that manipulates physical age helps with that, too.
I had a set point, once upon a time. That was the death of the Oldverse before Goldeneyes’ arrival in the worlds of the Grizzyverse. But events after that point became so chaotic that I had no way to anchor them so that I could maintain coherency between the various timelines. I needed a way to pinpoint where everyone is relative to each other at a single point in time.
The Grizzyverse spans so many thousands of years that there are actually several Ages in terms of the development of the story. Some of the details of those Ages are still in development, but the Oldverse ended with the Collapse and the Newverse began with the surviving refugees from that catastrophe arriving in the worlds which had been prepared for them, and that’s where all these stories currently take place.
I found a set point, though, not that long ago and it puts several things into solid place, making a coherent telling of the Grizzyverse possible. It’s a beginning point, a point where things change. In terms of The Firebird’s Daughter, that point hasn’t taken place yet, but it will very soon, provided I can finally get Chapter Eleven done. There’s a timeskip coming up in the story, probably in Chapter Twelve or between Chapters Twelve and Thirteen, depending on whether or not I have scenes that decide they want to be included.
So yes, I’m doing my best to make progress in writing the story, and in developing the foundational Universe. These things take time, sometimes, and it’s frustrating as heck when life gets in the way of doing what I enjoy. But at least any progress is progress, and a Set Point is definitely progress.