David J. Pedersen's Blog of All Things
I forced myself to finish the 5th, and final Angst book last weekend, and it was one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. Even though I had written the final chapter long ago, and knew exactly how to get there, I struggled. While closure can be a good thing, it is often painful. After eight years of writing and a half million words later, it’s done.
You read about movie producers and their passion projects. Sometimes the projects work, but more often only a limited audience gets their message. These films usually happen after a long tenure of successful tentpole blockbusters and rarely help their creator’s career.
I started out of the gate with my passion project. Maybe not the best decision for cashing in on the self-publishing ebook extravaganza, but it made me write. I would bet my next handful of books are more easily digestible by the mass public than Angst. I would also bet that Angst will always stay my favorite.
There are a lot of problems with series endings. If you think about television, many don’t wrap up all dangling plot threads and take an easy way out to bring about closure. *cough* LOST *cough* Some fail to give you the feels that you enjoyed throughout the series. There are shows they make you feel even betrayed or disappointed by the ending. (I hear this from friends who watched How I Met Your Mother.) Once and awhile you get a M*A*S*H. Even though it ended in 1983, USA Today still recognizes it as one of the best for “capturing the spirit of the series”. While I’m dating myself, that should give you the sense of rarity that good closure provides. No pressure.
For the fifth Angst novel, I strove for weight, nostalgia, and a never-ending-story. By weight I mean the story has impact and consequence. I didn’t want it to be just “the next monster” but “all or nothing.” I’m old and thick with nostalgia, ask me about it anytime I’m drinking. I wanted the last book to refer to all of the others without being weighed down with history.
Finally, heroes should never die. Even if, on that rare occasion, the main character dies, there should always be a what-next component. You should miss the main characters because you know more is coming and you may not get to be a part of it.
I set a lot of expectations on myself, but that’s because I care. I care about my story, and I want my readers to enjoy it. If you’ve stuck around this long, you have my eternal gratitude. I sincerely hope Angst’s final adventure is everything you have hoped for.