It’s Time to Say Goodbye

Fear not. There's always fanfiction! Actually that might have made it worse, sorry.
Fear not. There’s always fanfiction! Actually that might have made it worse, sorry.

Most people who have visited my blog will have noticed that I have one of my books advertised over in yonder sidebar. This particular book is the first of three, and it is the series that I have fallen in love with the most. The world, the characters, everything. More than any other cast I’ve created, this is the one that I have experienced the most joy writing. Tears have been shed, laughter was had, and overall this world and everyone in it has given me an experience I don’t think I can ever recreate.

And now I’m coming to terms with the fact that very soon I will be saying goodbye to it forever.

Book one has been published for a while now, book two is complete and in the editing stages, and book three is all planned out and being written whenever I have the time. Plotting it was very difficult. It’s the last book, so I need to make sure that it has an ending worthy of the reputation it has created.

But with the planning came a certain feeling of emptiness. Now that I know how everything ends, there’s no more mystery, no more great unknown. I know exactly how everything is going to end, and after that there is nothing. Once “The end” is written, I walk away from this series for good. That in itself was a fight. I wanted to write more because I didn’t want to say goodbye, but I knew that more books would probably come at the expense of the quality of writing, and I couldn’t do that.

For some, the end of an adventure is the most satisfying part. You had fun, now you get to sit down and relax and remember all the fun you had. But for others, the adventure itself is the best. You don’t yet know how it will end, and despite all the hardships you’re having a blast. The peaceful life just isn’t for you; you’d rather be in the middle of the action forever.

This will be the first time I’ve completed a series. Other series are in the works and I’ve finished standalone books, but this will be the first time I’ve come to an end of something I’ve felt to be truly amazing. And while I will be happy to have completed such a thing, I can’t shake the sadness that comes with saying goodbye. I’ve always been a fan of ‘see you later’ instead.

Whether you’re a writer or a reader, what’s your favorite part? Does it sadden you to come to the end of a great story? Or do you feel it’s an appropriate end to a great adventure?

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4 thoughts on “It’s Time to Say Goodbye

  1. If there is any comfort to be had, just think of it as if you were saying goodbye to a friend. You have finished finding out the mysteries that they hold, but you can always comes back to say hello once again. That, and it’s a feeling that many writers never get to feel. I am honestly happy for you, but it also increases my desire to finish my own story. Congratulations on your books! 🙂

  2. The best endings are bittersweet. You’re happy that they came to a good conclusion, but you’re sad that it’s over. But a good fan and a good writer know when to say “enough.” Anything can be dragged out too far and it’s not pleasant to watch. I’ve finished writing a series before and it hurts to be done, but there’s always a joy to seeing all your dreams and ideas there before you.

  3. I haven’t written out a full series just yet, but in terms of reading I can relate. The last book of “The Wheel of Time” has been sitting on my bookshelf a little over a month now. I started reading those books five years ago. For me it went beyond Lewis, Jacques, and Tolkien. The characters became my friends, even the villains (Ishmael is so demented I can’t help but love him!). I don’t want to leave behind Moiraine Damodred and her epic, omniscient presence in the back of my mind, nor Min’s peculiar way of seeing into the hearts of others, nor Matrim’s offbeat laxness and seeming indifference all to protect himself from feeling too vulnerable. Even Perrin Aybara, whose conservative homestead values I will likely never understand, is demanded to push on.

    My favourite part though, by far, is the first half of the very first book–setting off on a journey by which none in the party may pledge to know with any certainty what lies at the end. That’s precisely what the reader is experiencing too, and the bond between reader and story becomes paramount. It’s hard to go from that to actually watching the story end, but even so there will be no closure otherwise. I dread the coming of “the end.” with unyielding eagerness, I suppose. As your good friend Mr. Pan once said, “to die would be an awfully big adventure.” Even when a story ends, its themes, stories, trivialities, and morals all become a part of the reader who shared in them from then on. So, when a series meets the end of its cycle, it never stops turning.

    Geez, you got me all sentimental Mr. Koeker! Congrats on completing your second installment, and I am continuing to enjoy your posts.

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