When I started writing this book, it was pretty safe to say i thought I would get bored after about chapter 5. The fact that my word document now reads 71,000 words with the final chapter to finish and the epilogue to write is more of a shock to my system than anyone else's I imagine.
Furthermore it is fair to say that whereas I had a fairly vague idea of where it was all going, the details did not exactly slot into shape into I actually started writing the chapters. I knew I had all these threads tangled up in each other. Questions that needed answering, the crucial factor of Faye and Lee's relationship hanging in the balance, and my own need for closure on it all battling together on the page.
I hate happy endings. Happy endings for me, are the 'Disney' way to end a story. Life doesn't have happy endings, so why should it then follow then that books should do? I also had to think about my source material- 'Doctor Faustus' by Christopher Marlowe. I'm sure I am causing no great shakes by declaring the somewhat obvious ending to that play. He gets dragged to hell. It is unavoidable, a fixed point in the plot of the play, but then the play ends. So where does that leave me? I made it obvious in my Prologue that Faye was going to find herself in hell too. What my source material fails to illuminate is what happens to Faustus once he is down there. So it was with that opening up in the ambiguous ending of Faustus that I could stage my own ending in 'Lost Glory'.
I thoroughly enjoyed writing about Faye's descent down into hell. I researched and read about Dante's Inferno, using much of his perception of what hell would look and feel like in order to get a sense of what Faye might see or hear. Describing either hell or heaven is an absolute bind as a writer. What can you already say that hasn't been said for? It isn't exactly the type of location you can travel to in order to undertake research. In this sense, the work of other writers in invaluable, and Dante's Inferno in particular was something I could take and use.
Then at midnight last night, I found myself writing the apex. The crucial moment in the whole novel where everything is defined and decided. As a reader, I love that part in a book where you turn the pages, reading faster and faster to find out what happens next. I had no idea that it was something writers participated in too. As I listened to music for inspiration, to capture the mood I was aiming for, my fingers seemed to drum the keys of my laptop faster and faster. I knew what I wanted to happen. I knew the way I wanted it to happen. I even knew how it was all going to end. Yet that reader inside me wanted it on the page in black and white. Concrete. No going back.
I cried writing it. By the time I had typed the last page of the chapter, the tears were streaming down my face. I never understood why. I don't know if it was the words, the music I was listening to, the realisation that it was nearly over, or the feelings towards my characters. All I know is that I wept. Is this normal for writers on approaching the ending of their work,or am I clearly just insane?
Right, back to my final chapter...
Thanks for reading.