If you follow me on Facebook (I’m starting to think I should keep track of how many of my posts begin with that exact phrase), you might have noticed a statement yesterday about how I believe there’s a good chance that I will finish the first draft of the novel I’m currently working on, The Long Chron. I am, of course, very excited, because it means that not only do I have another completed novel sitting on my hard drive that still needs a lot of work done before it’s released (insert sarcasm here), but it means that I get to finally put the finishing touches on the other stories that I’m still hoping to be able to release before the end of May….holding breath is not advised.
But…here’s the thing about finishing up first drafts…I hate endings. If you’ve read either of my published novels, you’ve probably finished feeling somewhat unsatisfied. Whether or not you liked the rest of the book, both of them end somewhat abruptly…one much more so that the other. This was done rather intentionally with The Legend of Buddy Hero, as it was intending to mimic the style of comic books, where there isn’t a long series of resolution passages following the end of the main story. It ended up being a necessity with The Agora Files because of the fact that the story became much larger than the original vision and there just wasn’t a good place to stop, seeing as the entire book is about non-stop action…
But…there’s another reason both of those books end rather suddenly…I hate writing endings. My two movie scripts were the same way, although, one took on the John Hughes-style of ending, showing little images of each of the main characters to give you an idea of where they might have gone off to after the main story. I’ve never been good at them, as, well, even in movies, I feel they are often forced…and when I write a story, I often come up with a multitude of adventures that I want them to follow after the fact, meaning that I find it difficult to sum up their adventures in a few paragraphs to wrap things up.
For those of you waiting for the ending of Agora Files, I promise you that I already know how all of it ends…In the hope to not possibly give anything away, I won’t say anything more than that, but I will admit I’m pretty happy with where all of it is going.
But that leaves me with my In Progress novel, a story that I’m making an all-inclusive tale…even though I have many more stories I’m finding myself wanting to tell with these characters as well…I’m in what I like to call the endgame…the period where all is revealed, everything has to get wrapped up, and, ultimately, where the reader decides whether or not the journey was worthwhile…because who really cares how much you enjoyed the first 300 pages of a novel if the last 50 didn’t go as you wanted, am I right?
Actually…that precise last sentence is what frightens me about the end game, especially when working on a time travel story which requires needless amounts of complexity. What’s the payoff? Will it really be worth it? Will these last 50 pages be what causes the world to decide they hate me?
It’s not just that, obviously, as there’s a great deal of frustration that goes into just determining how much you really want to tell, how much focus you want to put into the aftermath of the final showdown, as opposed to the actual story at hand….I mean, right now we’re dealing with the part that fairy tales relegated to “and they lived happily ever after”…readers don’t like to be left hanging with stupid messages like that anymore, they want “happily ever after” defined, at least to some degree.
And that’s where I’m at…defining happily ever after…while also dealing with the aftermath of everything that came before…the first 300 pages, so to speak. It’s a lot of fun putting those final pieces of the jigsaw puzzle in so people can finally see the full picture…but it’s also a little unnerving…especially for someone like me who has stayed away from writing endings thus far.
But I’m doing it…and I’m still mighty happy with it. I think those who are familiar with the genre of time travel (officially started by Mark Twain’s Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, in case you were wondering) will be quite satisfied with what I’ve done to not only pay homage to a fantastic storytelling history, while also taking it my own way.
And I really can’t wait for you to read it.
But…that being said, I’ve gotta go back to killing everyone—ahem—I mean, I have to go back to marrying everyone to handsome princes and princesses…Of course..from what I know about Game of Thrones, that’s not much better, is it?
Have fun out there!