Well here we are at the end of another novel. One that I wasn’t sure would come.
The novel had grown far beyond what I had originally thought it would be: a short twelve thousand word novella with a lot of blood and people dying. It didn’t turn out that way though. The first issue being is that people kept living.
My ordinal intent was to introduce the characters in the first part, kill most of them off in the second and let the third part be mostly about Oliver. However, my characters kept on living and fighting, proving that the author doesn’t have as much control over his or her characters as first thought.
Towards the middle of the novel, I thought it would be fun to see how long I could keep it going, inviting people to submit character sketches for a chance to be in the novel. I only had one person submit a character sketch and added another in myself. The interactivity didn’t pan out how I thought it would but it ended up being a blessing in disguise. The same friend that submitted the character sketch pointed out that it would be impossible to keep the novel going forever and I would eventually have to think of an ending.
When I arrived at the beginning of Act Three, I still had no concrete idea about how to end it, but as I wrote an idea began to take shape. What if fighting against what I wanted to do, I let the characters tell me? I knew that they would prefer that good triumphed over evil. I wasn’t sure how many people would die in the end and even some of the characters I killed off worked their way back on to the pages.
A vague idea for an ending began to make itself known and I wondered how I would write it. I let go completely and let the characters tell the story they wanted, something I’m usually loathe to do. Turns out, they knew what they wanted to do all along, I just had to let them.
Did I get to every story line that I left hanging? I think so, but there might still one or two left dangling or ones that didn’t work out how I had originally intended. And that’s just how it has to be. It’s the nature of a serial novel in that it’s unpredictable, but I still had an absolute blast.
And I hope you did, too. Thanks for following along on this journey as I tried, chapter by chapter, to figure out what the hell I was doing. Thanks to all the people who eagerly awaited each chapter and asked me to write faster. If you didn’t read the novel, would I still write it?
Of course I would, but it’s always more fun having everyone along for the ride.
August 6th to October 20th, 2013