I am approaching the end of Book Two, not that Book Two will be by any mean complete. I will finally have a solid skeleton to hang the muscle and flesh of the story from.
The most difficult part of the end of a book is making sure you have all your information presented earlier in the book, clearly defined. I call this part of my research, ‘Data Mining’. I go back and start reading and mining chapters I previously wrote, taking notes on the things I must bear in mind for each character at the end of the book.
As an example, I’m currently working on a late chapter concerning my protagonist, Pero de Alava, and I have to remember all the things he was thinking and saying, even wearing, when last I left him. I’ve spent a couple weeks now working on other characters in other chapters of the book and its very easy to forget. That’s what happens when you try to keep the story rich and alive.
I also find that this a great time to “tweek” things in the beginning to fit how I want the book to end (not the whole series, just the current book). The further you write ahead, the easier it is to go back and add foreshadowing. I have, in the past, expressed my frustration with authors that don’t do this and just throw out things at the last minute that should have been obvious earlier on.
Although it is a movie, I’ll give you a great example. THE MUMMY. You know, the ones with Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz. The second film has many flaws, too numerous to count, but the one that grates me the most is Rick O’Connell’s tattoo. He is suddenly a lost member of the secret Medjai society with a tattoo never even mentioned in the first film. WHAT??? REALLY???
Fantasy doesn’t have to be completely believable in the sense that it could happen BUT the story itself must carry promise throughout and something as noticeable as a tattoo can’t simply be interjected later. It’s like a mole that moves around the face of a character (Okay – that was a comedy and worked!) It would be more believable had O’Connell’s tattoo been at least mentioned, even in an off-handed way during the first film.
Anyway, that’s my rant for the day. I’m going to put my nose back down and do some more data mining.
If you haven’t read it yet – go buy yourself a copy of THE CRYSTAL CRUX – BETRAYAL. You’re in a for a real treat. And if you have read it, please share a review on Amazon.com, Amazon.uk, all the different Amazons, on Smashwords, Goodreads, ibooks, Barnes & Noble … everywhere and anywhere! I truly thank those who have been posting their reviews! I’m eternally grateful!