I’m well into writing the third book of my trilogy, and I’ve made a surprising discovery: the third book is the hardest. I really wasn’t expecting that. Obviously, I knew that I’d have to tie up all the loose ends, which is no small challenge in and of itself. But I’m coming up against two issues that I wasn’t expecting.
One – Where do I stop the story? There’s no good ending place. A person’s story doesn’t end until they die. Even after they’re dead, there are all kinds of people involved in their story who still have so much more to do. There’s so much more to tell. No, I’m not going to tell you if I’m killing any of my characters off. I will promise, though, that if I do end up killing one or more of them, I’m not going to kill them all off. That would be a great way to make sure there’s nothing else to tell, but I don’t want my stories to end with Armageddon.
Two – How do I say goodbye to these characters? I love each and every one of them. Good guy or bad guy, main character or throwaway character, old or young, in one book or all three. I absolutely love these characters. They all have at least one character trait that I really admire. A villain can have as much determination as a hero, a throwaway character can have as much charm as a main character. The older characters have a wisdom that’s admirable, and the young characters have a joy that’s enviable. When I type “The End,” I’m saying “I’m done.” Some part of me really doesn’t want to be done, and is pretty sad about knowing that that’s coming. And soon.
I’m sure that I could go back in later books and revisit a few of the characters, if I really wanted to. Then again, it might be nice to be able to type “The End.” It might bring me a feeling of relief, accomplishment, or pride, knowing that I have told their stories to the best of my ability.
I guess the only way to find out if that’s going to happen is to get to the point of being able to type those two words. So, back to the story I go. Wish me luck. 🙂