Nothing is more difficult (in my opinion) than finishing a novel that has been stalled for three years. My current work in progress has been through three different incarnations.
Two other books have been published during this time because I couldn’t find a satisfying way to end this chapter in the history of Neveyah. Perhaps it is a case of separation anxiety, but for one reason or another, it has never gotten to the true finish line.
My current focus is on finishing the final draft of this novel and getting it submitted to my editor. This book must wind up the Tower of Bones series, and it has to finish BIG.
While I am doing this, I confess I feel the same mix of feelings as I did when my youngest child left home–a sense of loss combined with pride and the thought that freedom looms.
So let’s talk about the all-important fourth quarter of the story arc.
At this point in the story arc, the final plans are in motion. We’ve met the enemy part 1 and survived the encounter. We’ve suffered a terrible setback. Now we’ve regrouped.
In the third quarter, major events have unfolded that point to the conclusion. Based on my structural editor’s suggestions, I inserted new scenes into the existing narrative that drive the action to the final conflict. Those are all finished and are where they should be.
- At the outset of the 4th quarter, all my subplots are resolved and the final focus is on the Dark God’s move.
- The Dark God’s final pawn in this game must be exposed to the reader.
- The enemy’s plan and their true nature must be shown.
- Someone who was previously safe is now in peril. Their fate hangs on a thread and the outcome is unclear.
- The heroes must face the fact that their efforts to preserve their homeland has forced the enemy’s hand in a way they never expected
- The resolution for these characters is final, no loose threads can be left at the end of this book, as it completes the trilogy.
My work right now revolves around taking the new material and blending it into the existing story. Foreshadowing must be inserted and some otherwise great passages will be cut. This is because anything that does not drive the plot to this end is a side quest, and there can be no more of those.
This means one whole storyline that took six months to write will be cut, but it’s not a waste. There will be more opportunities for writing in this world, and that storyline could become a novella. These are great characters and the villains are as intriguing as the heroes.
As I said at the beginning of this post, I am seeing this novel coming together at long last, and I am loath to let go of it. But I am excited to see it coming to this conclusion and feel good about it, despite having to shed some of the work that took so long to write.
The events have been detailed. Making sure this story flows seamlessly is time-consuming but it’s my obsession, so poring over the manuscript is what I am doing when I could be playing games. (Hear that Aveyond Stargazer?)