Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Who's in charge here?

A photo of my great-aunt Margaret
and some lost-to-time beau, 
used for the cover of Coming Together

Last week I wrote about finishing my draft of Coming Together, and that was true. But I didn't finish it in the way I had originally intended, and I thought it would be fun to share what happened along the way.

You see, I don't write to an outline. I know where my story starts, and I have a few ideas of what happens along the way - nails on which to hang the plot. Generally, by the time I'm about 20% in, I know how the story should end, but only in a loose way. It takes longer to work up the exact scene.

I wrote the ending to Coming Together about three months ago. I knew there would be edits. There are always edits. But it said what I wanted it to say, it gave a nice circular finish because it happened at the same time of year as the beginning of the first book, and it cleaned up so many dangling plot threads.

What could go wrong?

My characters could go wrong, that's what. Well there are three main characters in the series - Ava; her sister, Claire;and Pearl, Ava's daughter - Ava is the main main character. And that final scene / epilogue was from her point of view. Which made sense, because the books always begin and end with her.

As I got down to the end, I made a list of scenes that needed to be written. The last scene was Claire's, and it would tie things up until the Ava epilogue. Except that when I wrote Claire's scene, Ava spoke up and insisted she had to have a scene on top of that. Which would mean that she would have the final scene and then the epilogue, and I didn't want that.

But Ava's scene was good. It said what I wanted the epilogue to say and it tied in with the preceding scene. So what to do with my epilogue?

I tried to rewrite it from Pearl's viewpoint. Pearl started out writing diary entries in the first book, but she came into her own voice in book 3, and I have a sneaking suspicion that someday Pearl will have her own book. But not today, Pearl. So giving her the epilogue could make sense. Except that it needed to be her mother. There are things necessary to that epilogue that Pearl doesn't know, or doesn't know completely.

What I've decided to do is to finish the book with Ava's scene, as she insists. The epilogue will now become bonus content for newsletter subscribers who have read all three books. It won't make much sense any other way, but I can't stand for it just to remain on my computer.


Miriam in KS said...

I'm looking forward to reading whatever you publish! I've thoroughly enjoyed ALL of your books.

Karen said...

Miriam, thank you so much! I love knowing that there are people out there reading.