I’ve finally finished the conclusion to my trilogy. It feels like a milestone so I want to take a moment to reflect on my current position.
While the conclusion is finished the book isn’t. I’ve only been focusing on the last 1/3 of it. I usually don’t like writing piecemeal but moving forward has been challenging because things that came easily before are difficult now. This is most notably the case with the action scenes. Two years ago having characters fight was the easiest way for me to add a few thousand words to a chapter. Lately it’s been taking a day or longer to write them. When I was writing from start to finish I kept getting stuck. It’s not that I’m lacking material. I’ve introduced new characters with their own powers and personalities. Writing their battles is taking so long because I’ve been hesitating a lot, wondering if what they’re doing is the best way to use those powers, or if their actions really fit their personality.
Another writer I know likes to bring up the Hellraiser franchise where (SPOILER ALERT) a character is torn to pieces with chains in the first movie. He admits to enjoying that movie, but feels like it maxed out the brutality too early and when the sequel came out he thought what are they going to do, tear someone into even smaller pieces with even more chains? I think he’d describe my writing issues as the result of “pulling a Hellraiser.” There’ve been so many fight scenes that when I try to put in something new it doesn’t feel new. It’s just another person defying gravity, nothing we haven’t seen before in this story.
I’m not discrediting my work. It still ends with a battle and while writing that final clash was tough I’m satisfied with how it turned out. However, I feel it’s best to alter my style prior to that portion. There will still be a place for icicle-shooting guns and super-strong zombies (sorry, Enchanted corpses), but I’m going to try making it more of a mystery than a traditional thriller. Changing things up so late in a series seems like a risk, but I’ve been looking back at the earlier parts and they feel forced. I don’t expect coming up with brain teasers for my characters to come easily. I just hope it will make the chapters less stale.