Monday, 19 August 2013

Saying goodbye to your characters/wrapping up a trilogy

We are reaching the end of the #murderonthebeach blog tour, but don't worry there are still a few more amazing blogs to visit before the end.   Today I have Kate Harrison, author of Soul Beach, Soul Fire, and the final book in this fabulous series, Soul Storm on the blog to talk about saying goodbye to your characters.

Saying goodbye to your characters – an author’s tale
Let’s face it, you never start a relationship in real life, thinking about how it’s all going to end…
Fiction is different. The ending to a book – and especially the ending to a trilogy – is always at the back of your mind, as you plot the horrible things you’re going to do to the characters you’ve only just created, to push them to their limits for the sake of entertainment.

But then you get stuck into the story and you become absorbed in this exciting new world. In the case of Soul Beach, I’ve spent the last five years getting to know Alice, Danny, Meggie and Lewis. I know all about Alice’s secret insecurities, about Lewis’s caffeine habit, about Danny’s wealthy background, and Meggie’s selfishness. And despite their faults, I’ve come to love them all. Though I don’t always love the things they do…

And then I started writing the final book in the series, Soul Storm. The whole idea behind the mysterious beach is that if you love someone, you must try to set them free. So this final book features death, betrayal, heartbreak – and three goodbyes.
As an author, it’s daunting to sit down and write the big emotional scenes, especially when you know people have been reading the previous two books. You feel a responsibility to the readers, and the characters. You want it to be moving and meaningful and …

And you have to stop right there! I had to switch off all my expectations, forget anyone had read the previous books, and focus on telling the story as simply and unfussily as possible. I’ve found that the more plain and restrained you make the language in a sad or joyful scene, the more room you leave for the characters to speak and for the readers to understand what’s going on between the lines.

I’m not the kind of highly-strung writer who says her characters ‘talk to her’ – I know I have control of them and it’s my job to tell the story. But writing Soul Storm has been more of a rollercoaster than ever before: the scary parts have given me goose bumps, and some of the last scenes made me cry.
Now it’s all done and the book’s out, leaving a big Soul Beach sized hole in my life. Though at least if I am missing Alice, I can simply pick up the first book and go on that journey with her all over again.
And on the plus side, now I have space in my writing life to get to know a whole new set of characters, and put them through hell. A trilogy is a marathon, and so I’m planning more of a sprint for the next book.

Goodbye Beach, Hello… well, I’d better stop there. I’m giving nothing away…


About Soul Storm
Someone is stalking Alice Forster. She's sure it's her sister's murderer, but her parents think she's cracking under the stress of Meggie's death. Only in the virtual world of Soul Beach - an online paradise for the young, the beautiful and the dead - can Alice feel truly free. But there's trouble in paradise . . .

Clouds are gathering.

A storm is brewing.

The killer is about to strike.

The final gripping thriller in this paranormal romance trilogy.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely guest post. That would be hard as an author to turn off outside expectations and say goodbye to your characters! It's bad enough to say goodbye to them as readers :)


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