Things I have learnt writing The Inventory Series by Andy Briggs

Dev and his friends are back with more mind-bending tech in this third installment of the Inventory series.

The World Consortium is recruiting more agents to defend the most advanced technology the world isn’t ready for, and it’s up to Dev, Lottie and Mase to train them up for action. But will they be ready before Shadow Helix’s next strike? And has Dev uncovered all the secrets of his past, or is there more to know about his special abilities?

Things I have learnt writing The Inventory Series
by Andy Briggs

Writing a new book is always an educational experience for the author. No matter how well you know the characters or the subject matter, there is always something that will surprise you. The life of an author really is one of complete bewilderment combined with the wise teachings of hindsight.

The first lesson I learned while writing the series is one that I think all authors should embrace, and it should be the staple of any “How to write novel” manual. It’s this – whatever deadline your editor gently coerces you into, always add an extra four weeks as a “cushion”. This accompanies another pearl of wisdom: never deliver your manuscript to the publisher on a Friday. There is nothing more soul destroying that rushing to make that deadline… only to receive an “out of office” reply almost instantly.

Specifically, with the Inventory series, which revolves around the lofty world of high technology, it was surprisingly difficult to come up with an amazing gadget or gizmo that somebody hasn’t already attempted (often with dismal success, but they gave it a shot).  People were building flying saucer shaped aircraft in the 60s, flying cars have been done already, and a quick check on the internet will show you half a dozen hoverboards. Of course, none of these real-world gadgets are quite as efficient or as cool as you’d want them to be… but it just goes to show it won’t be long before we have them in our lives.

In this series, more than anything else I have written, I discovered that you can never really know everything about your characters. In my first series: HERO.COM and VILLAIN.NET I felt comfortable with those characters and over the eight books, I felt as if I knew them very well. With TARZAN there was the weight of history behind these characters, so I had a good sounding board on how they would behave and react. However, with this series I started out with an idea of how Dev, Lot and Mason would be – and they all decided to run in different directions, leading me to some very intriguing character arcs that hadn’t occurred to me while planning the stories. In fact, some of the secrets in the original ending of IRON FIST were pushed into GRAVITY and elements within that were cut and make an appearance in BLACK KNIGHT – all because the characters ended up taking me on a different adventure than the one I’d intended.

As a screenwriter, I diligently plot stories out before I write them. I have to know exactly where each scene is taking me, and that is how I have always written my books. However, when it came to this series I tried a more ‘freeform’ approach. I knew what the story was, and my final destination – but because the characters were dictating the pace of the secrets I was revealing, I thought I would do less plotting upfront and see where it took me. I have to be honest, I was worried with this new approach – but in the end I found it a hugely enjoyable experience… and something I intend to do again.


Andy has extensive experience working on multinational co-productions and has worked in comics, books, TV, film and trans-media projects.

Andy wrote and Executive Produced Legendary, currently the most successful independent UK/Chinese co-production. Released in China and grossing $5 million in the first week, with a theatric US release in 2014. With his brother he worked on Hollywood features such as Judge Dredd and Freddy vs. Jason and TV shows for the SyFy Channel and Netflix.

He wrote and co-created Secret Agents, a trans-media interactive spy experience for children, currently on at the Discover Centre, Stratford. He has 16 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world.

He has written 20 books and graphic novels published in the UK and around the world. In 2016 his latest feature, Crowhurst, will be released.

Check out Andy’s other Guest Posts:


A Look At My Library by Andy Briggs


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