It’s so hard to say goodbye

As you may be aware I’m in the process of writing the conclusion of the Gods of Fate trilogy, book 3, HINDSIGHT.

I’ve never had such a hard time writing a book. Most of the time I sit and the words just flow out, almost like magic, with little effort on my part. For me, first drafts at least, are always just there, in my head. With this book I’m growing increasingly frustrated for two reasons. The first is simply outline frustration. Meaning I’ve written a much more detailed outline than I EVER do because it was important for me to know where everyone ended up before I began writing. Now, however that outline, while very good, has me in a creative strangle hold.
The solution to this is a fairly simple one. It’s time to burn the outline. It almost always happens to me sooner or later, but 4 chapters in is a record, even for me.
The more I’m writing the more my main character is making things known to me. She has grown up in the course of the series and her voice has become a strong one. She demands. I comply. It is her story after all.

The second problem is that while I have a clear image in my mind of how everything wraps up, the story is simply demanding more. So many characters are vying for attention, wanting to be heard, understood before the end comes. So many voices refuse to allow me to give them the ending I wanted for them to have. So I have been brought to the negotiating table, so to speak. I’m having to write pages and pages of stuff with other characters that I know will never make the book, just to find out what the heck they want, where they want to end up.

I have also realized that my main character and I have grown apart. She does things totally different than I would, despite the fact that her early chapters at least were based on some of my own feelings as a teenager. We think differently, speak differently, and she is much kinder than I am. She carries a strong feeling of guilt from losing her parents so young, and from that she has a very strong sense of responsibility for others that often escapes me.

Sounds very strange doesn’t it? It’s a misconception that writers control the stories. Once a character is made real on paper, it, if well done, can take over a whole book, or in my case series of books. I’ve often ripped on ERAGON author Christopher Paolini for not being able to end his Inheritance Saga (formerly trilogy). But now, I totally get it, I really do.

It boils down to this. My husband gave me some great advice this week which I intend to take. He said, “don’t write the ending to your series in this book. Just write this book and see if it ends.”

Smart guy, huh?

So having tossed the outline and given the characters free reign to tell what they need to tell (that’s what editors are for, right?) I’m just focusing on writing the story that they are telling me and hopefully, everything will wrap up nicely on it’s own.
Keep your fingers crossed for me as I throw caution to the wind and once more allow myself to be carried away in the story. Hopefully, someday, you will be too!!


Comments

It’s so hard to say goodbye — 4 Comments

  1. Great post – I know that feeling of characters taking over…I have cursed and raged at many of my own for not doing what I wanted them to do 🙂 Good luck with the writing!

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