No, this post is not about the Relient K song. It's an honest piece about the fact that, sometimes, I feel like I'll never be done writing.
Here's what happened.
I decided that, for my first serious approach to writing, I was going to start with a trilogy. (Note: this was a really dumb idea.) Sure, I'd begun about twenty books before. I'd even completed a draft of one or two. I'd never, however, decided that I was going to pursue a book to its total and final completion. Then came The Trace, an idea that festered and stuck around long enough to reach its conclusion. Thus, my first time writing a book that I really wanted to finish, was a complicated trilogy that only got more convoluted the more I wrote.
The thing about trilogies and series is that, obviously, the books all hinge upon each other. Get one thing wrong in book one, and the following books could get screwy. Since I decided to start writing a sci-fi trilogy, the real plot of which developed as I wrote, I made a lot of consistency mistakes. So I wrote and rewrote the first book until it made sense; then I wrote the second book, and I realized how much I needed to change in the first. So that's what I've been doing lately: reassessing The Trace (again?!) to make sure that it lines up with its sequel, The Integer. Fortunately, it isn't major things that need changing. It's the minor elements here and there that can really trip up a series. For instance, I establish in the second book that Academy students don't shake hands. However, they shake hands in the first book. Stuff like that.
Something else I'm reassessing is the characters, a rather important element to get right. Many of the characters really developed in the second book, and the people they wound up being didn't align with the people they were in the first book. So, here I am again, combing through The Trace and making sure the characters, the plot, and the tiny details make sense. I sort of feel like I'm back to square one.
I am completely calm and happy to be at this stage all over again (lie). I love that, just when I thought I could let go of book one and begin focusing on book three, I'm called back to hang out with The Trace for another month or so (lie). This part will be easy (lie), and will be finished very soon (double lie).
As you can tell, I'm trying very hard to convince myself that I'm not going to be spending another year rewriting The Trace. I really don't think it'll take that long. Good grief, I sincerely hope not. Honestly, I should be glad that I have the chance to perfect every detail so that the trilogy is as congruent as possible. I can't imagine how frustrating and difficult it was for Rowling by the time book 7 came around and she was hoping that everything had been set up correctly. Lucky for me, I have to worry about the consistency for only three books.
So there you have it. Can you read The Trace? No, because I said so. Also, because it's not done. Again. *Holds back tears.* Hey, at least everything will be perfectly established for book 3, so there won't be any rewriting of Trace and Integer once I reach the end of the trilogy. Right??