Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye is hard. Really hard. The longer you’ve known someone, usually, the harder it is to say goodbye.

As illustrated by the Harry Potter cast.

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Same is true for me when I finish a story. Whether a rewrite or a first draft, there’s a bit of sorrow that casts its shadow on the accomplishment.

So, yes, I finished the most recent edit of “Crowned Prince” that I started on October 24th. It took me eleven weeks to finish, and in that time, I was able to dedicate some pretty serious hours to the revision process. Interesting, as the first draft only took me eight weeks to write.

On this rewrite alone, I’ve traveled with these character for almost a quarter of a year. I’ve spent much of my free-time with them and many hours thinking about them. Working through their foibles, their defeats, and their victories. Seeing them change and grow. Falling in love with them along the way.

As I reread the ending for the eleventh time last night before finally sending it off to my beta readers, I knew I was going to miss these characters. Finally, at long last, they had each other and their happily-ever-after. They’d earned it, they knew what I cost, and they were both willing to fight to keep it.

I lingered with them a while, and then I closed the file and cracked open the novel I finished in October. Best way to beat the sadness of saying goodbye to one set of characters is to become invested in the next set.

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Years ago, when I finished writing my first book (that the Doubt Demon eventually stole), I actually cried when I was done. I had put over two years into the story, and I never thought I’d be able to write another. Took me a lot longer back then to realize I had more than one story in me. Once I realized I could write more than one book, and started work on the new one, I felt much better. Completing it made me feel better yet. (Yeah, Doubt Demon got that one, too).

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I’m not a big fan of book series that feature the same characters as the “leads” over and over, but I do love series that let me go back to the world the author created. Especially if I get a glimpse of some old favorites living their happily-ever-after while becoming invested in new characters.

Perhaps this is why all three books I’ve written so far stand alone, but they’re all in the same world. While you may never “see” the characters from the previous novels “on screen”, you hear the new characters reference them as appropriate. It gives me a little hug of feeling, reminding me I didn’t really say goodbye. I just said until later.

 

How about you? Ever feel sad when you come to the end of a book, whether reading it or writing it? If so, how do you overcome the sadness? Do you like series that feature the same characters? Same world(s)? Why or why not?

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6 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

    1. You will “see” them again, when they need Sir Marcus’s help for their young son, but that story centers on Sir Marcus. It’s a romance novel, so Eli is still enjoying his happily-ever-after that he earned and jealously protects. 🙂

  1. This is a great post.

    I like series with the same and different. I also like stand alones.

    I have to say when I’ve finished things I’ve mostly felt relief. Though part of that may be that the biggest thing I’ve finished was…heart rending so by the time I was done I was just aching from working on it.

  2. The kind of series you describe is exactly the kind I love: same setting, fresh characters but with glimpses of old friends. And, to me, each book in the series should be a stand-alone story. Bonus points if you don’t have to read them in order! (That’s what I’m attempting to do with Halcrest. I hope your books are published soon so I can sink my teeth into them and grow more and more familiar with your world, until it feels like a second home.)

    Meanwhile, I admire your discipline. If I read this correctly, you seem to work on only one story at a time? I tend to work on two or three, though they’re usually in different stages, at least. (First draft, final edits, etc.)

    Anyway, excellent post. It sounds like you have exciting characters to move onto even as you say goodbye.

    1. Other stories percolate, but I do, indeed, focus on one at a time.

      I’ll go back and do an edit on the one I finished in October, then go back to this one.

      I need a little time to reset and be ready to look at it fresh again.

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