Sunday, May 20, 2007

Writing the End

Writing the end.

It is Sunday, and I am preparing to write I'm the end of the third book of a trilogy. That is I'm mentally preparing to write the climax scene, the come-down scene, and the epilogue. All the details in the previous two books must be coordinated and wrapped up in this final manuscript. Claire's book, At the Edge, will be on the stands make 29th. So far Claire has gotten tremendous reviews. I hope you'll drop by my website to read them.

While the previous two books were complete in themselves, they lead to answers needed in a third book. Threads begun with the first book, traveled through the second, and are finalized in the third. A trilogy is a big gamble for a writer. If the first book does not "hit" well, it colors the other two, perhaps not the best light. I debated about this whole project, prior to taking it. (The concept was mine and my editor was really enthused and excited over the project.)

Woven into the stories are details of the Aisling family, psychic triplets, concern what happened to them as children and as adults, prior to meeting that special man. Each woman is now 32 years old, has had life experiences, and each is very different from her sisters. Born three minutes apart, each woman reflects her birth position in the family. The triplets' extrasensory gifts are very unique and trace back to an ancient Celtic seer.

The emotions that come with writing the end of the stories, all of the stories, are mind boggling. Each book is very difficult to wrap up, and let go emotionally. At the end of Claire's story, I cried. The tension that is involved in the creative process is immense, and it is difficult, just as it is difficult with the child, to let your love, a story that has consumed the you, change into somebody else's hands. That would be the editor. Next would come to readers.

I've already written Tempest's story, and it has a tentative title of A Stranger’s Touch. I am waiting for editorial feedback. We are also looking at cover treatments. My writing style is difficult to capture and graphics, but my publisher is open to suggestions. There are so many elements in this unique family that can be applied to a cover.

Today, I'm setting up to refresh myself on Claire's story and Tempest's, getting ready to write full blast through the end, to the very last page, and then began a massive edit that will occur several times. Each timeline is very short, and the trilogy falls within a few months. However, the background of each woman, their relationships, influences the direction of this third book, Leona's story.

I chose each name, Claire, Tempest, and Leona very carefully for the part they would play with in this trilogy. While working on Leona story, and she has emerged even more from Claire's story, at the beginning, I see that her name suits her perfectly, fierce as a lioness, the eldest and most complex of the triplets, she is ready to take her position in the final story of the Aislings.

It's pretty exciting to see/feel Leona get ready to finalize this third book in the Aislings psychic triplets trilogy. During this final creative process in which the book comes to its very end, the writer -- that's me -- usually goes into seclusion as much is possible. This keeps the story warm and flowing until the end of the book. A writer will often say, "my story won't let me rest." That means the writer is keeping their story close to them, it is in their minds as they stare out the window. Details. Timeline. Threads. What doesn't work. And in a romance, the balance of all the characters, especially the male and female protagonist is absolutely essential. While editing, the protagonists need to be balanced, but also the antagonist -- if it is a romantic suspense or has tension at all -- must also be balanced against the protagonists. Two weak, too strong, sensitive, all these elements must be balanced.

Then does the story run quickly, is the pacing right? If it is running too slow, or it will not fit within the prescribed number of publisher’s word-length limits, then it's time for cuts. If the cuts contain essential material, that has to be made up somehow. Do the chapters and on the right note, leading the reader on? (In writing Leona's story, I felt I really had a grab on ending scenes and chapters:))

I'll be writing and editing for many hours before I send Leona’s story, the last in the trilogy, to my editor.

But I'm already brewing more stories. :)

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