It’s been an interesting learning experience for me. So here are some of my conclusions:
1) Getting every minor plot line cleared up is tough.
I now feel a lot more sympathy for J. K. Rowling’s 7th HP book, where she tried to include the fate of EVERY LAST CHARACTER mentioned in the previous 6 books. At the time, I recall finding it clunky and contrived. Seriously, we’re trying to include the bus driver?
Now I better understand that desire to include the bus driver. It’s hard to balance what’s an extraneous plot line, and what really needs to be included in your book.
2) At the same time, you’re getting ready to step away.
I feel strange about this, almost traitorous. Yes, I’m planning to do a couple of novellas in this setting (one’s already written), but I don’t have plans to do another novel here.
And yet, I also can’t wait to move on. As soon as I turn this book in, I’m turning around and working in a second-world setting. My brain is already trying to go there a lot, as things from that proposed world seem to be cropping up in my daydreams a lot more than what I’m suppose to be working on.
3) You’re working a couple of books ahead of what’s published.
That’s one of the things that’s become crystal clear to me in this process. I might be turning in Book 3 two months before Book 2 even comes out. As the author, that means to me that if someone asks me a question about Book 1, I have to think back to what I was writing 3 years ago. Seriously. There’s an incredible lag…which also means a disconnect for the author.
4) I’m so very happy to have gotten these out. Seriously.
Not every writer gets to write all the books they want in a setting. Sometimes your publisher just doesn’t think there’s a market for the later books in a series. I’ve got a very good feeling that I’m going to be able to finish this series….so that makes me happy.
Anyhow, I’m reaching the ‘done’ zone, which is nothing like the Senior Slump save in its awareness of eventual separation. Soon my Portuguese babies will be in the bag, and I’ll have moved on. Perhaps I’ll even get rid of some of my Portuguese research books, stop listening to Fado, and stop wearing all my lucky Portuguese jewelry….
Nah, probably not.