This trilogy has been niggling at me for years. The first volume began as a writing project as part of a distance learning course, but it’s so vastly different from what it was then that it’s hardly recognisable as the same book.
Now I’m on the home stretch of the third book. Much of it was written during NaNoWriMo 2011, which helped enormously. Things had been difficult for me for a long time, which did little for my writing, and so NaNo was the perfect way for me to catch up to where I needed to be, with its goal of 1667 words per day, meaning I’d written more than 50,000 words by the time December rolled around. That practically doubled my word count. Then I took a break and didn’t write any more of it again for about six weeks, by which time I was starting to climb the walls and had to write again. Since I bought a new laptop and downloaded Scrivener (respect to the guy who designed this writing software package), I’ve had a somewhat better time of it and I’m now almost at the end.
But as I near the finish line, in a final chapter called, appropriately, Endgame, the sentences are difficult to tease out, and my characters are remaining too tight-lipped for my liking. I’ve written a couple of flashbacks, one for this volume and one that fitted better into the second book, and that has made me feel much better – a relief that I’ve written that much in a couple of days. But now I’m back on Endgame and finding the words is becoming more and more difficult as I see the end looming over the distant horizon, mocking me as I struggle to see what’s going on in my fictional world.
This trilogy has certainly been a wild ride for me (not as wild as that of my characters, by any means, but wild nonetheless). At the beginning, I was finding my way around, didn’t have my writing voice yet. Then, about a third of the way through the first book, a character arrived on the scene fully formed, with absolutely no intervention from me. She burst in on the breeze and made sure everyone, including me, knew she was there, and she hasn’t left me since.
Upon knowing this character, and as I got to know her better and better, I found my writing voice. She became something of an alter ego for me, the me I could have been but never was, and I could (and still can) hear her so clearly in my head that she has been by far the easiest and most enjoyable character I’ve ever written.
I’m still undecided as to whether this is the end of the road for her. When I reach the end of this book, she will have told me her story. She watched me as I wrote it down – she dictated her tale, corrected me when I got it wrong and has been there for me as a sounding board during some of my darkest times. If this really is the end, I’m going to miss her, but she might still come up with something else to tell me another time. Probably when I’m writing an entirely different book – her timing always was impeccable. So that I have to make vague notes – because that’s all she’ll give me – somewhere else, so I don’t forget what she’s said.
So I’m writing this while I give the poor girl a break. I’ve put her through a lot over the course of these three books, and it’s time she had a rest, an easy time of it. I hope she can find it within herself to forgive me for what I’ve done to her, because in spite of everything, I love her. She’ll tell me the end of her tale as the weekend progresses. Until she’s ready, I can wait.