Charms of the Feykin evolves the Luke/Sari and Nyx/Delvin relationships, which have been bouncing back and forth for a while. There’s really nothing else I can say without divulging where the two pairings go. I will say finishing this book felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders. Primarily because both roads have been very rocky and messy, which comes from my belief that most relationships are like this. Even those that don’t involve love can hit a snag and test the two sides.
Writing relationships is a challenge that I never expected. When I conceived the romantic and friendship paths, I didn’t realize how hard it was to maintain these things. If you keep it simple and untainted for the whole series then it gets dull. Constant monkey-wrenches become tedious to the point where you might kill the relationship entirely. Honestly, I thought I could keep things bouncing around until the final volume where closure was given. It was around Curse of the Dark Wind that I discovered it couldn’t be drawn out that long.
Thankfully, Charms of the Feykin was giving me trouble in terms of story. I didn’t know what I was aiming for since it was coming off as a typical dungeon crawl. Then I created The Merchant of Nevra Coil and The Mercenary Prince, which bought me time and gave me the tools to set up the ‘endings’. I didn’t entirely realize it at the time, but a benefit of writing things so far in advance is that I can adjust. Everything fell into place, including the challenges that these characters would endure. It also gave more meat to a book that I could barely keep a solid title on.
I’m tempted to give a few pointers here, but the romance aspect of Legends of Windemere is where my confidence flickers. I know where I’m going and like how they’re coming out. The problem is that these are the stories that come under a lot of scrutiny. I’ve seen so many different reactions to fictional relationships. Readers may love it, despise it, want a different one, hate there being a romance in the first place, and any number of scenarios. The one thing I have learned from this is:
People take love very seriously.
I’ve been there too. As an author, I want to get readers invested in my characters and make a connection. This is an important aspect toward giving them depth and the relationships with other characters helps with the investment. Human beings have friends, family, lovers, and enemies, so those that exist in fiction need these too. It runs the risk of people taking sides when relationships flounder or making assumptions that one pairing would work better than another. Look at Avatar: The Last Airbender to see how many varieties of ‘shipping’ can emerge even when the final answer has been obvious from the beginning. This is simply how things work.
The only piece of advice I can give an author when it comes to romance is to do what you feel is right for the story and characters. Some people will disagree while others will cheer and others will ignore it completely. With everything, the final decision comes down to what the author feels is right. Romances are simply some of the hardest choices to make and defend.