I'll openly admit that I have extreme anxiety about endings. Frankly, it doesn't matter if I'm enjoying calamari at my favorite Japanese restaurant, or lounging on the couch with hubby hoping that HBO doesn't kill off my favorite dragon tamer on Game of Thrones, or the fact that I throw most of my Diana Gabaldon books on the floor once I get to the last few chapters, afraid and unsure about what's in store for Jamie and Claire (Not my kindle books, of course. I'm not destructive). Basically, I have issues when good things come to an end. I've written almost three novels in the Fireflies YA trilogy. In fact, I wrote the second novel, Razers, during NaNoWriMo and had it whipped into shape three months later. I'm a fierce first drafter. I would even say I'm quick to edit as well, but that's only true for the beginning and middle of my novels. Now, most days I edit and re-edit the beginning and middle chapters of Mystics, Book 3 of Fireflies. There are three chapters left in the book still to be written. I've got chapter titles, and the plot arc all set. I plot whole stories ahead of time and pants dialogue. But, for the life of me, I just can't seem to get to...
So listen up, ending--Why are you causing me so many problems? I have always known what you will look like, so what's the deal? Fingers, type!
Then, this morning I glanced at my bookshelf. I picked up my copy of Outlander (Book 1) and began re-reading a chapter in the middle of the book. I smiled, remembering how much I enjoyed reading about Jamie and Claire over the years. I still have her last book in the series to read. I've been waiting for summer, when my teaching schedule eases up. Then, the all too familiar 'ending' anxiety seeped into my mind again. What will happen? Will I feel satisfied? Will this be the end of Jamie and Claire?
And there it was...Mystics is the end. I want, no, I have to do justice to my characters. After I finish the book, I won't write about them anymore. I will move onto something new. That’s a lot of pressure to send characters off in the right way! So, just like when my chopsticks reach for the last panko-crusted tentacle, I remind myself that I can always come back again. Just because I've finished the story, doesn't mean that I can't visit my characters any time I want to.
Besides, isn't that what spin-offs are for? ;) Or maybe, I’ll make mention of the world in my next book, Raven’s Sphere.
For now, I'll settle for this long-overdue blog post and prepare for the return of Game of Thrones this evening.