Monday, August 29, 2011

So close I can feel it.

I took a weekend off from my studies, as I was fluey and unable to concentrate on anything. By Sunday, I felt an old familiar tug, pulling me to Doorways.

Even though I'd already been waking up early every morning, by two o'clock I felt as if I'd go mad if I didn't just look at what I still needed to do. Looking turned into revision of one part, which turned into eight almost straight hours of it.

By 10 PM I'd reached the end. Yay me!

I'm still not quite done, though, because I need to go over it one more time before sending it to my first Crit Partner. I have a sneaking suspicion that there are some bits toward the end that will need a lot more work, because my germ ridden mind can only focus for so long. The only reason why I kept going was because I was going into the story's climax. It kept feeling wrong to stop.

I really want to get to the end, though. I'd rewritten the close to one I really loved, but as I woke up I got this niggling suspicion that became an all consuming thought: It didn't fit the story. It would have been gorgeous if it had, but the entire story sets the characters up in a certain way. One that clashed with the ending I'd written. Sigh...

So now I'm still trying to work out how to close Doorways that makes everyone happy while bringing the point across that this wouldn't be the end...

Anyone else writing writing a series? How did you manage to end the book without ending the story?

20 comments:

Odie Langley said...

Can't identify with you with am glad you are seeing the end. Good luck.
Odie

E.J. Wesley said...

I think the key is that each book needs to have its own identity within the context of the characters, etc.

Sort of like how every day of our life can have a 'feel' or theme to it. A flow, so to speak. At the end of the day we place our heads on our pillows and think 'that's finished', but realize tomorrow will lead to more. It has to feel that way for the reader and the characters.

That's kind of my way of looking at a series, anyway. Congrats on nearing the end!

Carol Kilgore said...

I've never written a series, so I don't have an answer for you. I know each book needs to stand alone. Yet link. Easy right? Probably not so much.

Feel better soon.

Michael Offutt said...

My story is so big it needs to be broken up. So I reach a part where the book can end and leave it open for it to continue. Seemed natural.

The Golden Eagle said...

I hope you feel better soon!

I wrote a trilogy (kind of--I originally set it down as a single book but several hundred thousand words just wasn't a single novel) but cut off the first and second books at cliffhangers, so there wasn't much of a resolution. I know that part needs work, since series seem to tend to work better if there are individual story arcs for each book, coming together to form a longer link from start to finish.

Congratulations on nearing the end of Doorways. :)

L.G.Smith said...

I wrote my last novel to stand on its own, but I also see series potential in it. In fact, I'm writing a companion story to go with it right now.

I suck at endings. I had to rewrite my last one three different ways to find one I could live with. If only we could write beginnings and have them be enough. :)

Don Britt said...

Congratulations Misha! You've done what countless have set out and failed to do. Enjoy this moment. Drink in everything about it, and jot it down for posterity. This is one of the sweetest moments in the writer's life, and it's time to celebrate. Way to go!

M.J. Fifield said...

Congratulations on reaching the end! That's very exciting.

When I reached the end of one of my WIPs, I had the urge to run laps around my neighborhood shouting "It's done! It's done! It's done!" As it was about 4am, I refrained and just sent out an "It's Done!" email to all my friends instead.

I am writing a series and I think the way I know when one book's done and the next is ready to start is that the narration is just ready to hand over to another character. I don't know if that makes sense to anyone who isn't me but there it is.

Good luck!!

mshatch said...

I've written two stories that could become a series and in both cases I simple resolved the current big problem while leaving others unresolved and hinting at some things.

Bish Denham said...

Congratulations, Misha. No series for me though I have ideas for some, so I haven't had to deal with the problem you are. I know you'll figure it out.

Connie Keller said...

I'm working on a series. With the first book, I brought up a couple of minor issues that didn't get resolved at the end and had the characters wonder "Hmmm" about that thing or two at the end of the book. Of course, those things are much more significant than the characters realized and form the opening for the second and third books.

Does that help? I hope so.

Shelly said...

I only gotto rewrite one chapter last week due to burnout and carpal tunnel. Get better soon!

Maria Zannini said...

I think EJ said it best.

It's not easy though. Readers want closure so you have to create more than one arc--a story arc that brings that story to fruition and then a series arc that opens the door to the next book.

Laura M. Campbell said...

I agree with Maria. A reader needs the immediate story arc that will end once they shut the book, but an arc that plants a conflict that will last through the series. This latter lets the reader know that there is still more in store for the characters.

Caledonia Lass said...

Hmm... see I had to send out my entire story to my beta readers to figure out where a good place to end the first book would be. While they all had good suggestions, I had to make the call.
Sadly, it didn't really dawn on me, I sort of had to let the story go where it wanted to go before I found the end. I have to tweak some of the last few bits to fit it, but since it is a series, I have to give a hint.
A hint that more is to come, but the conflicts of the first part of the story have all been resolved. There is hope, but something still looms on the horizon.
Doubt that this will help much. I can't just say pick a spot and stop writing because we all know that just doesn't happen.
The end will come to you, might just have to stop thinking about it and focus on revisions.

Eddy said...

not, much just wish a good luck, for ur time

GigglesandGuns said...

Can't identify but I wish you the best.

Hope your flu passed.

Rosalind Adam said...

Hope you're feeling better now. If this last piece has only just been freshly written then my advice is to give it time to rest and then go back to it. Only then will you really know what the best ending will be.

I don't think there are any particular rules about endings of series books (as long as you don't kill off your main character!!) It just needs to be the ending that both you and your readers will find most satisfying and you'll only know what that is if you have space to let the work settle. (Sorry for rambling on!)

Susan Oloier said...

You are the woman--writing and revising when you have flu symptoms. Congrats on getting so far. I have not yet written a series, but am plotting one out now. Your question is one I have already asked myself. So no help from me, but I like reading the other responses.

Rachna Chhabria said...

I am also writing a series. each book ends from where the second ones takes off. I am rewriting quite a bit of it now.