For many authors, there is one piece of a story that is the toughest and scariest: THE END. You might have a plan for it or you might not, but there is something about writing that last chapter/page/paragraph/line that hits hard. The initial adventure is now complete and only editing remains. I’ve heard a few authors say that it begins feeling more like work around this time, which is a shame and probably why it helps to take a break for a month before starting editing.
I think it has to do with leaving the characters behind even though they’re still inside your head. You get put into a strange state where you’re happy to have completed the book/series, but you don’t really want it to be done. Maybe some of the authors who are in a perpetual state of editing/rewriting are stuck within this mentality. You simply don’t feel like you’re ready or even willing to go to the next story. Another version I’ve heard is that a piece of you is out of your body and it takes time to fill the void.
As someone who is writing a series, I manage to avoid the full brunt of being done with a story. There is always a new book and a continuation of the adventure. That being said, I dread the day I write the final line of Legends of Windemere. Even though I have other series coming up, it’s going to be hard to let this one go. Honestly, I think about this every time I finish writing one of the books. It’s like every completion is a step toward a state of confusion because I won’t have Luke, Nyx, and the others to work with. Sure, the survivors might appear as cameos in other series, but it’ll feel like I’m starting at the ground floor again when I move on to the next series. I’m going to cushion it with a tie-in story if the plot goes there, but eventually I’ll have to leave these characters to their ending and move on . . . or back depending on how you look at it.
So, what do you do when you come to the end of a story? Do you feel any apprehension when you get to THE END or do you feel more anxious for the next adventure?