Thoughts on Writing the Last Book in a Series

end-of-storyHey all! My posts might be a little slower during April. I’ll be having surgery to remove my gallbladder on April 11th. What I’ve heard about recover varies greatly, so I’m not sure what to expect. I’ll still be doing my Patreon posts, they might just take a little longer.

So this is a post that I’ve been thinking about for awhile – basically since I started actively working on Opus Requiem. I mainly started thinking about it because I was so reluctant to work on the story in the first place that I was wondering if I really should be writing it.

But I knew that I needed to complete the story. Opus Aria didn’t complete the story.

Things I did this time

I realized somewhere around the middle of my outline for Opus Crescendo that I had gone about plotting out a series in entirely the wrong way. I didn’t really plot out Opus Aria much at all, Opus Prelude was meant to be a standalone thing until a certain character just decided to barge in…I was a mess while plotting it out. In that I didn’t plot it out. Mistakes were made. I’m not saying I’m regretting having started a series without much planning, I’m saying that I wish I had done some planning. Having the bones of the story down before I went in would have made things a lot easier.

Like the six months hemming and hawing over the ending of Opus Prelude. Hahaha. That was a blast. Only not.

So I didn’t plot out the four novels. Or at least not at first. I did a lot of outlining and plotting for both Opus Crescendo and Opus Requiem. I needed to know where I was going with everything.

Things I’d like to try in future novels/series

Having an outline from the beginning. From the very, very beginning until the very, very end. Not necessarily which character is telling which thing, but just the complete arc of the story. Knowing the actual ending of the series would really help me plan out foreshadowing and character development and everything. It seems really obvious now that this is the method that is supposed to happen. That you’re supposed to outline everything out and make the breaks for books later.


Apparently I didn’t get that memo.

It will be really interesting to just have the story planned out without the point of view character picked out.  Or to see if  I can actually accomplish that. I’m sure that I’ll have vague ideas of which characters are going to be narrating which parts, at least for some of the areas. Sometimes I just get images that I’m really, really excited to write.

How I feel about all of this

This is the part that is really getting me. I’ve always felt very emotional at the end of a novel. I had the sinking suspicion that I would be quite melancholic when coming up on the end of a series. It’s hard to get the momentum to work on it, despite knowing I need to (and WANT to), because it means that my time with the characters  will be done. I’ll be completing something that has been consuming my life since 2009, though when I look back in my old (terrible) work, I had the bare bones of the Opus universe laid down back when I was in middle school.

It’s a bit frightening to be finishing up something that has that history with me.

But, at the same time…

Finishing the Opus series means that I get to move on to new projects, new ideas, new characters. That’s beyond exciting, invigorating, even.

I’ve learned a lot about how I work as a writer while writing this series. I’ve learned about myself. I am excited to be finishing up the series. I’m also nervous about it.

But I’ll get through it.



One thought on “Thoughts on Writing the Last Book in a Series

  1. Pingback: Opus Crescendo Release Party (and other Opus related things) | Rants from a Starving Writer

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