One of, if not the most enduring ironies of being a writer is that despite spending pages upon pages, developing characters the act of writing itself is a very lonely one. Sure, there are the voices in your head that spill out, onto the page in various forms but much of what we do is done in solitude. One of my earliest memories when it comes to the writing process is hearing about Dante, and how he wrote “The Inferno” alone, by candlelight in his chambers and went blind because of it. I am not blind, and hopefully never will be, but I cannot deny that the majority of what I have written over the course of my life has been written from within the confines of my own, lonely chamber. Despite what has always been and remains a wonderful support system of family, friends and loved ones in the end? Writers are a solitary species. We travel a lonely road. And now is no different.
Earlier this afternoon, I finished my initial edit, read and revise of HEAVEN AND ENDWORLD despite a nasty stomach bug that snuck up on me, overnight and robbed me of the chance to see my wonderful “lady friend” Heather. I’ll make it up to her. To you, dear. I promise. Said edit/read/revise knocked it down from 209 to roughly 200 pages. For anyone keeping track that is easily the biggest, initual hack job I’ve ever done on a WIP. It’s not that I didn’t like all the pork I cut out. I did. But there’s a degree of trepidation, inherent in having too much “filler” in this one. People, myself included desire an ending. A solid one. And that is what I intend to give them and myself. Streamlined. The last part of HEAVEN is, and was always planned to be extensive. Plot lines wrapped up. Answers to questions that have remained enigmas since Book One. I’ve still got a ways to go to get to the already-written ending. But I have, most certainly reached the beginning of the ending and because of that? I find myself feeling more alone than I ever have before throughout the almost three decade long process of writing, re-writing and re-RE-writing The ENDWORLD Series. That’s where I am mentally this bright and shiny, late-Winter, Sunday afternoon. Physically my stomach is doing somersaults so BRB. Sorry if that’s TMI. LOL. #TooManyAcronyms.
Back and better for the moment, I find myself once again ruminating on how this trilogy of novels has evolved over the years. I’ve written of this before and won’t belabor you with it again. I find myself filled with a mixture of excitement at what lies ahead, but weariness at what I’ve left behind. The final part of HEAVEN begins against a similar backdrop from how ENDWORLD – A Novel began. No that’s not a spoiler. But it illustrates how cyclical a process the writing of these books has been. I started the first book in solitude, and I’m ending the last one in the same. Self-imposed. Also cyclical. I don’t know when I’ll start writing Part Five. Maybe tonight… Maybe this week but SOON. I need too. Because I’ve given myself a deadline to complete it. And the voices in my head are counting on me to finish telling their tale. One in particular. When I start… It’ll be quick. A long-form writing sprint to the end. The convergence of multiple stories into one. One final confrontation. This may be the first book I complete within a year (thanks, ‘Rona) and it should be. Because the time to move forward is upon me. Other adventures await and I can’t wait to get to them. So? Buckle in guys and gals. Past the present exists my future, but to get there? Much like my hero, I need to face my past. EVERYTHING that inspired or anti-inspired me. Full circle to finis. Finally.
So? As I prepare to close out what will likely be my last blog entry here, or over on Random Musings pre-finishing HEAVEN, I’d like to take a quick moment and say “thank you.” Thanks to my amazing support system for understanding and encouraging me to follow this story through until the end. Special thanks to Heather who has been listening to me talk about this moment for the last year. I love you sweetie. Thanks to everyone that has read, critiqued and enjoyed The ENDWORLD Series in one of it’s many incarnations over the years. I may not speak with all y’all on a daily basis anymore, but you remain with me. My own, mental peanut gallery. Always. There’s a good possibility that I’m going to go semi-dark for the duration of this on social media. I need to embrace the above-referenced solitude and exist in my own, proverbial, creative void with just my characters as company. You can always find me though. If you need me, reach out and I’ll be there. PM, text, phone or “other.” But for now? This is Frank Marsh, kind’a signing off. #AmFinishing #HEAVENANDENDWORLD #TheENDWORLDSeries