Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Never Ending Story

Our theme for this month is endings and I have to admit, even though it's a pleasure to finish a book, I have a difficult time closing that door for good.

Maybe that’s why I’m such a fan of series, because they could go on forever if I could write them. For example, in my recent release, BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS, I originally created the idea of humans colonizing many different planets, and one true love altering the course of each planet’s destiny. I could make up as many worlds as I wanted to, along with another couple’s love story. I wound up selling another series and never went back to this original idea, but I’ve had readers who actually asked for a sequel to the world of Sea Forest (which I had never even considered, but once I thought about it, I realized that, yes, I could create another story with my hero and heroine’s daughter...).

In my new series, THE ELVEN LORDS, I am going to wrap up the overall plot arc with the third book. But there are two prequels between the three that I could write, and…okay, let me start with the premise of the world. Seven mad elven lords have broken the barrier between worlds and have taken over England, enslaving the people to fight their battle games. In book one, THE FIRE LORD’S LOVER, we meet these lords and two elven half-breeds, and discover the beginnings of the Rebellion to fight for England’s freedom. In book two, THE LADY OF THE STORM, the source of magic that leaks between the two worlds is discovered, and a possible way to free England is begun. In book three, LOVING THE LORD OF ILLUSION, the Rebellion finally frees England from the mad elven lords, but not in the way they had hoped, and…

A small rift remains between the worlds.

So besides the prequels, I still have an opportunity to revisit the world with its remaining elven half-breeds and an open portal for magic. At this point, I would imagine that any of those with part elven blood would be ostracized, as would those retaining any magical powers. Magic would become illegal, and enchantments would pop up in the most unlikely places…

See what I mean?

I’m lousy at endings. So I always leave an opening for me to revisit my worlds, and the characters who are shaped by them. This way when I finish a book, it’s not truly an ending. Because someday, I could always go back and pick up the threads once more. Even though I might never have the time to do so.

Are you like me? Do you dislike closing any door with finality? Or are you eager to just forge ahead, burning your bridges behind you?

My Magical Best,
Kathryne

PS. Since I didn’t share my book video for BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS with my release announcement, here ‘tis, and I hope you enjoy:

25 comments:

  1. Kathryne,

    Great post. I dislike endings--to a point. I become enmeshed into whatever it is that I'm working on, but then there come a time when I know it's best to move on. I tend to move on completely, not wanting to look back. With some things, I guess you could say I'm an all of nothing sort of girl. :)

    Tracey

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  2. Kathryne, I want so badly to get to the happily ever after, and sigh and then think about the characters and what they did for a long time. That's when the story really resonated.

    My daughter was telling me about the first book in a trilogy where everything was tied up in the end. There was no hook to continue the story. She doesn't have any incentive to read the next part. I know some of the trouble is it isn't a romance, but I can't tell her that. :) But after reading 100 pages of battles--which she got tired of in a hurry, maybe she's getting the idea there's got to be more fun in life. Like reading...romance. *sigh* One can only hope!

    Great post, Kathryne!

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  3. It's a delicate balance, between wrapping up the primary story, and leaving teasers regarding the stories to follow. I'm finding for some readers I hit it right, and for others, the sense of either starting in the middle of a series or not quite dropping enough other shoes frustrates them enormously. This is one aspect of craft that probably takes a long time to perfect, but Kathryn I envy you your ease with it--and the premise sounds terrific too.

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  4. Hi Tracey! The differences among writers, like readers, is what makes literature (and life) so fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  5. Hi Terry! I've got battles and romance in my books, hmmm, maybe she just needs a blend of both. :} Love to hear what resonates with you!

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  6. Hi Grace! I think you give me too much credit. I just write what satisfies me. The thing is, there is no such thing as a perfect book. What some readers love, others might not, it depends on thier own perspective, their own life experiences, their own expectations. I just write with my gut, and if I can get my readers emotionally involved with the story to want to know what happens next, I figure I'm doing pretty good. :}

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  7. Lovely, intriguing book video - looking forward o reading the story!! :)

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  8. Great point about series giving you a chance to really build up to the ending. I'd never considered it that way.

    On an unrelated note, I was at my local Barnes & Noble yesterday and snapped a bunch of pics of current Sourcebooks Casablanca titles on the shelves. I was doing it for selfish motives (scoping out where my books will sit, LOL) but in case any of you collect photos of your books in stores around the country, I'd be happy to forward the pics along (minus the notes I wrote on them for the blog post):

    http://tawnafenske.blogspot.com/2010/12/on-shelf-space-book-placement-touching.html

    Happy holidays, everyone!

    Tawna

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  9. I kind of like endings...so much so that i rush them a bit. I've had to work on that. maybe I like endings because I really like beginnings much better. I'm eager to begin the next book.

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  10. I'm totally like you. I've got to leave doors open so I might be able to revisit my characters later. I do this by introducing tertiary characters (well, that's what I call them), who might someday get a book of their own. *fingers crossed*

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  11. Very kind offer, Tawna. Happy holidays to you as well!

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  12. Hi Shana! I know how you feel about beginnings, so exciting to tell a brand new story!

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  13. Kathryne, endings are always bittersweet for me - I regret leaving my characters behind, but I always feel like I'm setting them free to live their happily-ever-after - without interference from that infernal novelist who keeps mucking things up! I really feel like they're out there in their world, living their own lives. They probably wouldn't be very happy if I came back and started pushing them around again!

    I LOVED your book trailer. Very evocative, with all the magic of the story, and the music was lovely. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Kathryne,
    I never burn bridges. I never know when i might need to turn around and head back the way I came. And like you, I love continuing characters in my own books and other authors' books, too.

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  15. You have a valid point, Joanne. :} So glad to hear you enjoyed the trailer!

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  16. Endings are hard. As a writer, at a certain point I'm eager to get to the ending but as a reader I can't give any higher praise than "I never wanted it to end!"

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  17. I love it when my readers tell me that they never want a book or a series to end because they don't want to say goodbye to the characters. Had a lot of that with I LOVE THIS BAR because everyone kept asking if Chigger was coming back or if I'd tell them how Daisy and Jarod were getting along. I love series because I don't have to shut the door completely and write THE END totally. Slade Luckadeau from my second Lucky Book just made a cameo appearance in Darn Good Cowboy Christmas ... all because I couldn't shut the door!

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  18. I love fantasy, especially romantic fantasy - I'm going to enjoy reading your books! I do enjoy series because once I am immersed in a world I enjoy, I don't want to leave!

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  19. Hi MM! That's so very true, and the best compliment a reader could give, something to definitely strive for.

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  20. Hi Carolyn! What a wonderful example of how leaving that door open inspires you and your readers!

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  21. Hi Amanda! I feel the same way about fantasy...one of the reasons I love the genre so much!

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  22. I'm with you Kathryne. I have a hard time letting go of the h/h from each book and I like to bring them back in later books in the series.

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