I have surprised and surpassed myself, getting half way through the first chapter in only a couple of days. For professionals my pace would be considered slow. All I can say is it suits me for the moment and as I get back into regular writing it will improve. As it turned out starting was easier to do than talk about doing. My solution of where to start, was to invent a new enemy to confront my four principles (left at the end of Book 2) as they began their final journey. This new character is watching them come across the border, in fact has been set to watch for them and knows their histories. This gave me a great opportunity to fill in the story so far for readers who start with Book 3 "The Arch of Restoration" aka "Arch"
I chose the name from a book of baby names. (I have many but the one at left is the one used for this trilogy) I opened it at random and looked for old English names. The original impetus for old English came from researching my family tree, I came across a name I wanted to use. Having started down that road I kept going, mainly for consistency. Character names are important, they come with baggage: gender, ethnicity, culture. I wanted an homogeneous society.
The page I happened to open this time was in the Girls section and the first old English name I came across was Lee. I then checked my spreadsheet to ensure I hadn't already used it. This is not an unbreakable rule (none are) but I like to keep my main characters distinct. Any 'Point Of View' (POV) character is major. I found it used for my hero's mother's middle name. - not a problem so I added it to the sheet which records name rank and serial number (all the important details) of each character as I invent them.
At this stage all Lee has is a first name and a title. The entry will grow with the character.Until now I have avoided using a personal pronoun for Lee. I got the name from the Girls page so I wrote her in as female. The next scene was also from a female POV and the one after that from the POV of two females in the same head. Too many female POV's for this old male to handle. So I changed Lee to male and rewrote the scene.
Interestingly the slice of spreadsheet above contains 4 major characters, all sisters, two of which have been POV Characters - the baby book must not so randomly fall open at 'Girls - L'
The story continues