Saying Good-Bye

Bilbo Baggins

With Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten AgeI’ve been thinking a lot about goodbyes.  There are the ones I’m giving to characters that I’ll never write again for various reasons.  There are those that are being said or unsaid between the characters inside the book.  I kind of imagined ending a series wouldn’t be so different from ending a book, but it really is.  You have to pack away so much and say goodbye to something that has been a semi-constant or full-constant in your life.  Shouldn’t be surprising that this makes one think of partings and goodbyes.

This is where I would normally talk about the journey, but I’ve written many guest posts for other blogs on this.  In such detail that I may have drained myself before getting to my own.  It’s become a foggy situation too.  Legends of Windemere began in 1998 under a different name, but it was the same story with Luke Callindor stumbling into his first adventure.  All those outlines, character bios, edits, games, brainstorming sessions with friends willing to listen, first drafts, and submission letters are already feeling like they were done by a different person.  I mean, here we are in 2017 with 15 volumes out in the world.  That’s actually nearly half of my current lifespan there at 19 years.  Maybe . . . Math isn’t my best subject, especially when I’m getting emotional.

Goodbyes are always tough, but I kind of envy my characters.  They do it and move on to the next adventure without much of a second thought since I didn’t write those.  Unless they’re in another dimension that I’m mentally tethered to and they are moving on with the same confusion I am.  Still, I wake up these days to grab a different notebook and packet of story outlines.  I see Clyde and Mab instead of Luke Callindor and Nyx when I write now.  Always knew it was hard for readers to get to the end of a beloved series, but imagine what it’s like for the author.  Especially an indie who doesn’t bring in enough money to rest on their laurels for a year.  I’m already getting questions about getting a ‘real job’ too, so the afterglow disappeared fairly quickly.

Some people might say that I don’t really have to say goodbye because all of the characters will be around.  I could read the books again or use them in future series as cameos, which I’ll get into tomorrow.  The thing is that there’s a sense of distance now.  The champions and their friends aren’t front and center in terms of attention.  I need to focus more on those who have been waiting patiently for over a decade.  Having so many other characters does help soften the blow, but you always remember your first series.  At least for those of us doing series.  Going back to envy, I probably do have some for authors who can finish a book or series then move on without much of a second thought.  I’m still trying to figure that trick out.

Sorry that this post is a little bit of a downer.  It was rather inevitable that I would have to write something like this because of the inner conflict.  Sad that Legends of Windemere is done, but happy to see it out there and excited about the next adventure on my list.  Bittersweet is certainly the word I would use and I’ve been listening to a symphony about it a few times.  That and the Flash Gordon theme by Queen, but only because I just found out we had a CD with it on there.

So, what do you think about saying goodbye to a series?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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37 Responses to Saying Good-Bye

  1. L. Marie says:

    The quotes are among my favorite quotes from Fellowship of the Ring. 😁

    I think good-byes are hard. There’s bound to be a period of mourning. You’ve been with these characters for almost twenty years!

    I feel sad every time I reread Garth Nix’s Abhorsen series or LoTR. We go on a journey with these characters. They seem so real, I can’t help feeling sad when I turn the last page. As the author of a series, it makes sense that you’d feel sad, since they’re your creations.

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  2. Ending a series doesn’t feel like saying goodbye to me. It’s kind of sad in a way to be moving your focus on to something new, but since the characters are always there to be revisited again, it’s not really goodbye.

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  3. Jean Lamb says:

    I know how you feel. I feel weird when just finishing a book–but I know the day will come when I have finished their series, too. Fortunately I have several of them planned out.

    But for now, take a month off before trying to fill the gap with anything new (unless you’re hit by the lightning bolt, and then count yourself lucky). What you are feeling is perfectly normal, so don’t beat yourself up about it.

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    • I’ve already written the first book of my next series, but I’ll probably be using January to edit and find a new cover artist. The guy who has done the covers for Legends is stopping with the upcoming release. Honestly, I can only take off for so long before people around here begin thinking I either quit or am loafing. No rest for the writers in this house. :/

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  4. I once wrote a series that was totally unpublishable, but I loved the world and characters I’d created so much that I was really depressed when I came to the end of it. I still get it out now and again so I can revisit that world.

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  5. I understand, even though I’ve never written a series. In my world, a novel takes a year. This means I need to see some sales before writing a sequel. My characters still talk to me from behind the scenes.

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  6. Jean Lamb says:

    Ah, I know the whole staying at home with kids and writing thing and keeping up the house as well. You’ve done marvelous.

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  7. I’m sure finishing a series must be hard on the author, it’s hard enough on the reader, at least if it’s a well written series.
    Just out of curiosity, what was the original name you had for Legends of Windmere and why did you decide against it?

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  8. Jennie says:

    It’s really hard. When I read a chapter book aloud to my class, a good one that takes months to read, the book’s end is a downer. It’s over. We all hate that. Thank goodness we have a new one the next day. A reader’s reactions and feelings are much the same as the writer’s.

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  9. Renee says:

    I haven’t come to an end of a series yet, so I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it. But I think of it this way. I always have the option of going back even if it’s to write a novella or short story.

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    • I’ve seen a lot of people mention going back for another story. Guess I’m different there because I’m ending my first series with some finality. More adventures will happen in the world, but the characters will predominantly be at the end of their roads.

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