So, of course, the genius of Lord of the Rings has a name for what I’ve been going through writing the final book in my series Tales of Earden. I so much admire this quiet well of a man full of myth and scholarship for his determination to create what ‘professional authors’ would have shivered in their boots rather than write. He trusted that his readers would follow him, even in his unconventional slow paced masterpiece, many times an editor’s nightmare. One chapter, The Council of Elrond is over 21,000 words!
When writing the Two Towers ( not even the final book ) he had as he called it “acquired so much NARRATIVE DEBT…” that he had to make the books even more complex than they already were!
I’m feeling that way now. All my characters, their journeys, relationships, continuations or climaxes, have to be exciting, correct within their individual personalities and fates and above all resolved! I’ve been thinking about this all the while writing and the phrase fits perfectly…there is a sense of concerned parenthood for all these people who came to life, loved, fought, were born and died in my world…things have to be just right. Unlike the first three books which I wrote in a fury, scribbling on yellow legal pads, the final two and most especially the last one, is coming out scene by scene, carved and crafted over and over, then I go on to the next one, with frequent back tracking to change something that, having moved forward in the narrative, I find doesn’t work. It is a different process from how I started out, and it’s been worrying me. Now at least I know what to call the beast!
Of course it took him 12 years to finish the trilogy…Soooo much to think about, Thanks, Professor, you’re still teaching!