I’ve said for a while now that I’m not so much a writer, as I am a storyteller. Wordplay can be fun, don’t get me wrong. But I’m far more concerned with character and plot than I am making my prose sparkle.
Mainly because I know I’ll get better at writing as I go, and that improving my writing is a life long goal, never to attained. If you wait for your prose to be perfect, you’ll never publish anything.
But understanding characters, plot, and pacing… That’s something you have to master right away. All manner of grammatical errors can be forgiven, if you can tell people a good story.
And I’m thinking about that a lot more these days. See, I’m ending my Werewolves of Pittsburgh series. Three ‘books’ comprised of seven stories, shorts and novellas, featuring a colorful cast of misfits and rogues.
The third and final cycle is written. The monsters and hunts are finalized. But I keep finding myself rereading the first two books. And I know why. I’m looking for the moments. The little things that brought the characters together. I want to remember them for this final journey to Pittsburgh, because I want to remind the reader of how these people came together.
So, I’m searching for those moments, the times where they really bonded, so I can make sure I add in the echoes of that in the final series. Just subtle reminders of how and why they are where they are.
Because the end of a story should always take you back to the beginning.
A repeated line here, a mirrored scene there, and the reader will find themselves marveling at how much a character has changed.
The best endings are all about the beginning of the story. Showing you how far a character has come. Because, ultimately, all stories are about the journey, not the destination.
(Skip to 2:04!… Although really, this whole song is very appropriate to the subject at hand.)
So, while my fight scenes are written, and scrubbed pretty clean. I’m still finding those moments, those little pockets of raw emotion that shaped the characters, and I’m adding them in, a line here and a word there, to bring this story full circle.