When a Story Refuses to be Finished (The Way I Thought It Would, Naturally)

No, this post is not about unfinished stories. I finish all of my projects because I’m obsessive-compulsive about loose ends in everything. I like things done. I like have written.

Somewhere last December I set aside all other projects, illustrations, worldbuilding ‘toys’, even more frequent blogging, and pushed forward to write the third book. It went smooth, though I did not write every day—I still don’t, and I need almost a week of chilling out between each chapter. This March the end was already in sight: I finally entered the Climax Zone. The Big Battle awaited, blah, blah, blah, etc., etc.

And then, it happened.

In the last few days I’ve discovered that the Climax Zone in this story had its own spatial geometry: like some parts of the previous books it was a tale of its own, so it had to be handled in a non-linear fashion or warped in some other unusual way.

Done!

I decided on a solution which both eased and complicated things. (Duh, I just love and hate this kind of duality.)

Marked in RED: The story region that is undergoing sudden inflation!
Marked in RED: The story region that is undergoing sudden inflation!

So, why this is an issue? This step will make the whole book bigger (hence I would have to save more cash for professional edits) and I may have to abandon the previous structure I had planned for it. Also, the deadline that I had set for myself—to release it mid-2014, may not hold. I hate editing in summer and this one was promised to be the hottest summer in the past 140 years, so I’m setting my sights for autumn. Just in case.

Jeno Marz
JENO MARZ is a science fiction writer from Latvia, Northern Europe, with background in electronics engineering and computer science. She is the author of two serial novels, Falaha’s Journey: A Spacegirl’s Account in Three Movements and Falaha’s Journey into Pleasure. Marz is current at work on a new SF trilogy. All her fiction is aimed at an adult audience.

2 Comments

  1. I’ve avoiding digging into the ending of my WIP ever since I wrote the first draft. Throughout three revisions, I’ve simply not touched it, and now I’m editing the whole thing, fine-tuning it on a line-level — and the ending is still not rewritten.

    I know what’s happening, who’s doing what, who’s dying, what’s exploding, etc. But I somehow always procrastinate from giving it its final polish. It’s as slippery as a fresh fish. But I’ll get around to it eventually. I must. It probably needs some rethinking too… maybe that’s why I avoid it. Hehe.

    1. I hear ya.

      The funny thing is I know the ending too. I wrote some of the aftermath scenes and the epilogue for this story long before I got to book 3 properly. But the story has several stories within the story, and the final ‘battle’ turned out to be one of those things.

      I have a somewhat slow, sketchy even, beginning of the series, that’s why the ending is going to be a serious blast in contrast.

      I find digging deep into it quite refreshing–my characters grow, the plot becomes twisted and complex, and the main arc demands a resolution in an unusual way. My concern with the book is simply word count, because I can make a whole fourth part out of it. It’s THAT big and needs to be folded gracefully. I don’t want to write another novel in this universe (immediately after the series that is.)

      I need some air. This author spent 2.5 years in a giant spaceship. 😉

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