So, today I wanted to talk about finishing what you start.
I think, in the world of writing, this is one of the hardest things to do. I can’t tell you how many stories McKay and I have that we started and either the idea just wouldn’t gel, or the characters wouldn’t speak up — and even, on rare occasions, the characters just wouldn’t get interested in one another no matter how much we tried. I think every writer must have a folder of things that didn’t pan out, and that’s fine. But what do you do when you’re two books into a series of three and the last one refuses to let itself be written?
Fortunately, we didn’t have that happen with Blood Bathory, although I think writing that third book was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. We KNEW how it had to end, of course, because that was obvious, but just because you know where you’re going doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy to get there, or how long it will take. Or what unexpected things you might discover along the way.
McKay can correct me, but I think we made something like three or four starts on BB: Be Not Proud before one finally worked. Mostly, it was the characters not coming together properly, which is probably, in my book, the absolute worst thing that can happen. We knew these guys well, but they kept wanting to show unexpected quirks that would cause us to have to go back and rethink where the story was going. And it wasn’t one character, but both of them who did this to us. In the end, we finally did get the dynamic worked out, and I believe the story is actually stronger for all the time we put into writing things that DIDN’T work. But while the act of discovery was working itself out, there was more than one grim moment when I wondered if we might be in danger of committing the cardinal sin of not finishing a series. Thankfully, our sins –thus far — remain only venial. 😉
Which brings me to world building. The Blood Bathory universe is a fantastically detailed one, and it sometimes is hard to walk away from something you’ve spent so much time — literally years, in this case — building up. McKay and I both have talked about setting other things in the universe, because we’ve gone to great lengths to create a reality that is logically consistent and self-sustaining. Gaia’s playground is large and varied, and other hazards face the theriomorphs and Dark Guardians.
I hope we do go back and do more with it one day. But for now, I’m just incredibly glad that we have told our story, told it well, and can be proud of what we’ve done.