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Stay tuned for the exciting conclusion October 14, 2012

Posted by thejinx in enduring chaos, writing.
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I’ve written a lot of stories over the years. Some have made it pretty far, in fact. But Enduring Chaos, the book I am currently writing, is only the fifth time I have reached the climax of a novel, and each time it’s been different.

The first novel I wrote to its end was actually the previous draft of this very story. It was pretty straightforward; I knew what needed to happen and wrote it. End of story. Um, literally.

The second story climax I reached was Aurius. While it was only the second time I’d reached the ultimate conflict in a novel-length work, it was still completely different from anything I’d written before, largely because I really had no idea what was going to happen. I knew where it needed to end, but as to how it was going to get there, I was purely winging it. And yet, the mere act of writing it made it pour out onto the page in a way that actually had me on the edge of my seat. It was dramatic, it was tense, and a surprise major plot twist was revealed that I had no idea of before that point. It became an incredibly important event not just for the story, but for the star personally, and I learned some important lessons in the act of writing it.

The third novel climax I wrote was Halcyon. This story was different again because the big, long, epic, drawn-out action sequence actually happened before the end. The finale was still quite important to the story, but having immediately followed such a long action scene, it ended up brief. It was, I’d like to think, still tense and dramatic, but while I could have drawn it out a little, it seemed unnecessary, if not redundant.

The fourth novel – arguably – climax I reached was during NaNoWriMo 2009 and is not much to speak of. In fact, I’d prefer not to speak of that story at all.

Now, here I am at the end of Enduring Chaos and it’s a different beast once more. This climax, and the book in general, have ended up very different from its previous incarnation. The main challenge to this finale that is new to me is juggling several different points of view. Halcyon had six different POVs throughout the story, but the perspective switched only at the start of a new chapter, so the climax all happened from a single character’s point of view, and the main group of characters who go through that event are all together.

In Chaos, not only does the POV switch from scene to scene, the characters are all separated and doing different things in the climax, so I wrote a lot of things all happening at the same time. Each character’s scene had to be dramatic, tense, and relevant while balancing character reactions and surprises being revealed. While I had the whole thing fairly plotted out beforehand, things changed along the way as I wrote and found something didn’t work or the pacing was off.

To my chagrin, the writing ended up dragging a bit, and not just because of its length – though it was a hefty chunk of writing at over 13,000 words – though perhaps that had more to do with my emotional state last week. However, I did complete it, and while the act of writing it was sluggish at times, I think that what came out worked.

The conclusion of the story also posed an interesting challenge, as it ended up with the same level of improvisation as the climax did upon further reflection of how these events affected the final chapter. Interestingly, it has also created an entirely new issue for book 2 that was never planned before, here a scant two weeks before I begin writing it for NaNoWriMo.

I suppose any good novel will throw me for a loop at some point or another, and it certainly isn’t a bad thing that it does. Here now with only the epilogue left to write of Enduring Chaos, it has been an adventure once again. Initial concerns of the book ending up a little on the concise side have been completely dashed, as the last few weeks have seen me add over 40% more material to what I had thought was 3/4 of the story already, leaving this draft tipping the scales at just over 100,000 words. Which just goes to show, one can never make assumptions about the length of a book until one has written it to its end.

In recognition of the progress of this book – and perhaps as motivation to keep me focused on actually finishing it – I have updated the novels section here to include information and quick access to blog posts about Enduring Chaos. Consider this an open invitation to bug me about status updates or any other information you might like on the novel.

Now, of course, once I write the brief epilogue, begins an entirely new adventure once more: beta reads and final editing.

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