Epilogues and Endings

Writing is like an emotional roller coaster ride.

When you first get an idea and begin writing, you’re excited. Halfway through, you’re bored and want it to be finished so you can move on to your new idea. But then, plot twist! And suddenly you are excited again and all plans for the next novel are shelved. And then, it’s over. You are done. The book is written and sitting on your very cluttered desk, eagerly waiting to be typed and edited. Your hand, after it’s week long marathon, is just about ready to fall off in protest. But you are done. And instead of the ride ending, the roller coaster starts to climb back up for another go ’round. This time, emotions like pride and dread at the thought of editing abound. Oh yes, writing is very much like a roller coaster ride, a never-ending roller coaster ride.

I should know. After a year of hand cramps and plot twists, I finished writing my second book, Crystal. And I almost cried. Not because I was glad to have finished, but because I didn’t want to have finished. After spending so much time with these characters and the world in which they inhabit, I didn’t want to have to say goodbye, even if only for a short while. I suppose it didn’t help that Crystals ending was not a happy one. 

The sad thing is, I knew the ending was coming. I write a little bit out of order- sometimes, I’ll sit down and write whatever comes to mind. Because of this, I write the epilogue a long time before I actually write the last few scenes. I don’t mind this quirk much because it helps focus my writing, it gives me a sense of direction, even if I don’t always know how to get to where I want to go. But this time, when I wrote the epilogue, I wasn’t happy. I stopped writing for a week, procrastinating. I didn’t want the book to end. Not when these characters have been placed between a rock and a hard place again and again. Not when the ending was so bittersweet. No, I did not want to take my characters from where they were to where they needed to be. 

But I also did not want to change my story. And so, the ending had to happen. Reluctantly, I wrote. And I finished the story. But don’t get me wrong. All the while, thoughts such as, ‘Why did you have to go and write such a depressing story anyways?’ raced around my head. The answer was simple: Because even though everything’s falling apart and the future looks incredibly bleak, I want people to know that there’s still good in the world, that there’s still hope. That’s why I finished writing the ending. But I sure didn’t want to. 

Now, as there’s a lull in the track, I get to switch gears. After all, I have over two hundred handwritten pages to type and edit, a glossary to make, and a map to create! So maybe I get to dwell with these much-loved characters just a little longer. I can’t wait! ^^

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