Thoughts on the Final Installment

I can’t believe the final book is here. As I’ve sat down over the past week to map, outline, plan, and think, I keep finding myself in a place of overwhelmed shock and gratitude. I always believed I’d get to this point, yet I still never expected it to actually happen. I know that while that sentiment makes zero sense, many of you have felt the same when you’ve reached different milestones in your lives.

I know where the story will go and what my characters will do from here on out, but there is still some mystery. Just like with the first and second books, I’ve had a plan that my characters have full-heartedly derailed. And that’s a great thing, because I think a book that is allowed to breathe on its own comes to life just a little bit more.

I do my best writing inside at the same computer, in the same spot, at the same time of day. Contrary to that, I do my best thinking and planning outside, doing something physical in nature. Some of my favorite twists and connections smacked me in the brain while I was out for a run. Yesterday I went kayaking down the Rio Grande, and in the quiet stillness of the desert winter, my mind made more links and created more scenes and dialogue for the final installment of the trilogy.  I now know where to begin.

This third book means a lot to me for many reasons, and as I sit down to put pen to paper for the last time (with this series!), I feel both excited and sad. This is it. This is my final journey with Riley and Oz, Gabe and Zach. And I want it to be everything it needs to be. For the characters, for myself, and for you the reader.

I am excited to wrap up each storyline and give the characters the final moments they deserve. But I really am going to miss them. After four years (nine if you count when I started writing), these fictional beings have become friends. They’ve been with me through my ups and downs, and when the book was being rejected by agents over and over, my characters continued to root for me—for the story. They continued to give inspiration on how to make the book better, and where to take it when I felt the most brain dead.

Let me pause really quickly to remind you that I’m not crazy. We all talk to ourselves; my voices just have names and live on paper!

So now I have my blank document pulled up, ready for the first word to spill out, but I wanted to share this moment with you all first—this moment of victory, of mourning, and of joy. This is it—the beginning of the end of a young girl’s pipe dream. I hope you’ve enjoyed The Soul Mender and The Peace Keeper, and I hope to create a conclusion (Yes, a real conclusion! Not a cliffhanger this time!) that culminates the entirety of The Soul Mender Trilogy into something meaningful, entertaining, and worthy of your time.

Happy reading to you, and happy writing to me!

What I’m reading: The Stand, Stephen King (Longest book ever! I’m going to need to pick shorter books if I want to hit my 30 book goal!)

Where I’m at with book three: Planning and outlining