Ever have a child and then the child grows up and heads out on their own? Remember how it feels, watching the person you raised and molded to your values leaving to head out in the world to make their own way?
Writing a book is that way. You come up with an idea, develop it into a workable plot line and slowly build the story until the characters set out for themselves, dictating how each of them will act and react to the crisis that surrounds them.
You work the story to death until it sounds right, then you begin the slow and painful process of reading, rereading, editing, formatting (my favorite-not!), cover design and publishing. After it's a polished masterpiece, you sell it on your favorite social platforms. And then comes the real hard part-letting go.
If your books are a part of a series, there is always the possibility you may revisit the characters, places, and maybe even the same continuous plot. Even those your books may be part of a series, it doesn't mean each story can't have its own individual style and content. On the contrary; it should be. If you're attached to a particular story, however, it can be especially hard to let your best effort be finished. If you're a perfectionist like I am, I try to dot every i and cross every t, and it can sometimes seem like something could have been left out or added.
If your book is a sole endeavor, it might be a little easier to move on to the next. The author who writes single novels tends to spend less time dwelling on what should have been and accepts what is. Series authors can find themselves going back to their other earlier books trying to correct something that doesn't mesh or playing connect the dots with overall plot of the series. Time travel can be a good loophole, adjusting the timeline to fit the narrative.
I recently wrote the second book of my newest fantasy series. I ended the book knowing that the story wasn't quite over yet and the real climax of the trilogy was yet to come, but still had a sense of just throwing the end together. Due to the multiple subplots within the book, I felt the need to summarize at the end, tying the plots together. It wasn't easy, but I felt I accomplished the task that I set out to do. After extensive problems with formatting, I finally finished, and I am proud to say I finished my 15th book.
I am ready to move on now to the next phase of the story, despite reminiscing over key parts of the story which made me laugh, cry, and root for the hero. Bring on the graimars, it's time for the real battle!
Nicholas T. Davis is a science fiction and fantasy author who lives in East Syracuse, NY and the author of fifteen books.