Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The decision

After at least three years of knowing the resolution to my fantasy trilogy ... I have decided to change it.

This has been a long, difficult, but ongoing dilemma for me. I've always known how things would end. There would be one last confrontation, but ... and this is a big but ... it would be almost entirely in dialogue with no action (ie. combat) whatsoever.

I've rethought that idea. It has been rather hard for me, but I've finally realized the change has to be made. I don't consider my trilogy Sword & Sorcery, but I'm still writing a form of action fantasy, maybe high fantasy or a mix with some S&S. So, I have to have an action ending.

I had much the same problem with the ending of the first book in the trilogy, but that was a rather easy fix with some minor rewriting and the addition of about 1,200 words.

This fix won't be so easy. Part of this is because of the two characters this confrontation was to happen between. One of them is non-violent, pretty much a non-combatant. He would not fight, at least not to the death, to save himself. To save other people ... well, let's just say he has other options than combat (hey, it's a fantasy, after all).

But I can't have all this sword fighting and spellslinging, then have a chat at the end of nearly three hundred thousand words. To me, that little chat makes logical sense, knowing the characters the way I do. But, I have to realize I am not right just for myself.

This trilogy might never have an audience. But then again, it might. At the very, very least, it might get perused by a few editors. And I don't want any of those editors, nor any other readers, to come away feeling cheated. I don't mind if they go away thinking "eh, it's alright, but not for me," or even "this guy sucks as a writer." I just don't want a reader to go away thinking I've let them down.

So, I'm going to have to rewrite the last three chapters of the trilogy ... pretty much from scratch. I might even have to add another chapter.

Back to the drawing boards.


cyn said...

yikes! i think you mean the climax? i always interchange ending/climax as well. tho there is the denuoment or whatever after the climax. which you can use to inocporate dialogue and resolution? i need to rework my ending, ending as well. and polish my climax ... i'm a hundred pages away from that. congrats tho on your tilogy still! that is quite a feat.and it sounds like you are nearing the end soon... =)

Howard von Darkmoor said...

Interesting idea for your ending Ty, I'd actually like to read it someday (I've a ways to go, I know, and I'll get back to it someday, if you're willing), so don't toss it, save this part somewhere.

Either way, I think you'll end up with a stronger ending simply by rewriting it from a new angle now that you've been reworking your way through it all. Perhaps you'll write this and end up with a combination of the two in a third rewrite.

Ty said...

Well, this isn't the first time I've reworked a major part of the third book. I actually scrapped the original first 40,000 or so words and started over again a year or more back.

I've yet to be fully satisfied with this third book. I like the first book pretty much. The second book is okay, but to be honest, I don't expect a lot out of it because it's kind of "The Two Towers," the filler between the first and third acts.

The third book, though, is complicated in the characters' actions because there's a lot that happens in the span of a few days. It gets to the point I actually have a couple of characters collapse from sheer exhaustion. Also, the third book brings up some points that ask a lot of the reader, and thematically could possibly turn off some readers.

To try to explain without giving anything away, there's a point where the reader will discover something that is really big and important and could have huge ongoing effects upon my world even beyond the trilogy. But, it's sort of out of the blue. Not completely, but there's not much foreshadowing of this element.

That's the big problem. I still have a few smaller problems, stuff I'll need to keep thinking about and working on.

Howard von Darkmoor said...

Hmm, not even something you could hint at in books 1 or 2, a simple aside by someone, somewhere, in some conversation? Talking about your 'out of the blue' thing.

Being totally out of the blue has a good chance of alienating readers, but a good reader with a good memory will recall that somewhere earlier in the trilogy, reference was made to just this sort of possibility . . .

Ty said...

Part of the problem is only one person knows this "secret" thing that pops up, and that character doesn't appear until the third book.

I'm sure there's a way to fix this ... I'm just going to have to think about how to do it.