Tuesday, September 30, 2014

TRILOGY…ONE…TWO…THREE: Thoughts on writing the third book by Eden Unger Bowditch





DISCLAIMER: This post contains subject matter that seems to flip back and forth. It reflects the ambivalence I feel as I pen the third book in a trilogy. It flops from thought to thought and back. Is it great? Is it sad? Is it happy? Is it fun? Is it hard? Is it…so many different things? What I can promise, it is honest.

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I am knee-deep in the third book of the Young Inventors Guild. 'Knee-deep' does not reveal the times when I am, in fact, in over my head, however. There are times when I am over my head. We all get attached to our characters and the worlds we create around them. By the third book, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the final piece and all that it must contain.

(Wikimedia Commons)
While my publisher and I have discussed the idea of other Young Inventors Guild trilogies along different timelines, these specific characters during this particular time and place are contained in the three books. That means the mysteries are revealed and the story is given closure. It is exciting…and a bit sad. It’s like running to a finish line while loathing the end of the race. It is something you work so hard for, so relentlessly, so long. And, with one swift step or stroke of the pen or finger on the keyboard, it comes to a close.

So much goes into creating a world- heart, soul, love, madness. I find myself referring back to moments in the first two books to be sure I have it right and rediscovering things I’d almost forgotten about that story. The third book takes place in Cairo (good thing I came back!) and I find that I really do have to roam the streets, peruse the venues, explore the ancient markets to reestablish my own connection with a place that hasn’t changed much since my characters were there over a hundred years ago. I am lucky to have the opportunity to explore the very place that my characters will. But there is a sense of finality that goes along with the pleasure of exploring. It’s like a final walk-through, knowing you will close the door behind you and leave that house you built with your own hands, that home you love, forever.

(Gutenberg Image)
I know that, even if I continue and create new Young Inventors Guild books on their own timelines, it will be different. It will feel different, coming back to the first. Revisiting a place that was home is not going home again. That said, it is a wonderful thing to rediscover places where once we did dwell. With that in mind, those of us who have series that will come to a close, enjoy the time in that world, embrace it, and, as the adventure comes to a close, know that these books of ours become part of the world and people will get to enter the story and have a chance to be there. While we write, we are experiencing the adventure for the first time, too. The books then become their own destination. And we, too, can find our way back to visit them.

16 comments:

  1. I love the contradictions here. Knee-deep and over your head, finality with all its bittersweetness.

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    1. It is full of contradictions, Kell! Ouch!

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  2. I have such respect for those of you who write trilogies. I can't imagine taking characters over such a huge journey and plotting in such micro and macro ways. Well done in the midst of the challenge and bittersweetness.

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    1. Look who's talking, Caroline! You know all about plotting. it is intense, though, traveling so far with characters. It will be hard to let them go.

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  3. I just writing finished a trilogy myself--very recognizable :-) Nice post!

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    1. Then we're on the same page, F.T.

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    2. Congrats Fleur on finishing the trilogy! Double Vision is on my bookshelf...now that my son gave it back to me :)

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  4. Bittersweet is the perfect description.

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  5. Beautifully written post. I hope all is going well with the writing of Book 3!

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    1. Thanks, Michael! it is going very well, though there are sometimes tears on the keyboard.

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  6. The third book of my series was SO HARD to write! For all of the reasons you mention here, plus a swelling cast list. Since it was (possibly) the conclusion of the series, I had to account for everybody, leave no one out, and still give myself wriggle room to continue if I'm lucky enough for more books to be picked up.

    And oh so bittersweet. When I typed The End I didn't know whether to celebrate or cry.

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    1. I am with you, my friend. You know I love your books, Dianne, so I can tell you that seeing The End in your books makes me want to flip the book over and read it again while I wait for the next one!

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  7. Well said, Eden! I think this is particularly true of fantasy or alternate reality books, because the worldbuilding itself is almost another character. While I was of course sad to say goodbye to my characters in the STORYBOUND books, it was equally sad to say goodbye to their world.

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    1. And what a world, Marissa! Story is a rich and full place and I so loved to visit. The pair of books worked so well. Perhaps you may find other adventures for new characters (joy for those of us eager to return to Story) and that world of yours can come to life again! I can always hope.

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  8. Great post and sooooo timely for me as I write book 2 in a series under deadline! It is so wonderful to rediscover your characters and see how they grow. I'm re-reading book 1 as I write and it's stemming pages of notes for book 2. All those details - how to keep it straight? My book bible helps as a reference for sure. Kudos to you for writing book 3! I'm sure it's sad to say goodbye - anyway there could be a spinoff book from other characters? Keep them going as long as you can :) I would actually slow down my writing at the end of a book so my characters wouldn't leave me. Congratulations!

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Thanks for adding to the mayhem!