Last week I went to a movie--something which doesn't happen much at all lately. It was the third in a series, (not created from a book, FTR) and I settled in with a bag of popcorn and a large drink prepared to spend the next two hours on the edge of my seat. Because that's what happened with the first two.
The thing with series of any kind is that the first book or movie sets up an expectation that the writer/cinematographer/filmmaker must not only fulfill in the next installment, but also exceed in every way possible.
Unfortunately, this was one of those films that only detracted from the original story line. In fact, it was a complete departure. That would be fine if it had been thought through and fleshed out, but to be honest, there were so many parts that felt forced or rushed or just sloppy, and it made me so sad. There was no suspension of disbelief for me, because plot holes stole the logic, and some merely almost-there filming issues left a whole lot of cars on a freeway with no passengers inside them. (Nope. No dummies.)
I left the theater wishing, not that I hadn't chosen to see the movie, but that more time and effort had been dedicated to bringing it up to par with the first two.
The experience has left me thinking about my own attempt to end the DESCENDANT series, and the third book I have been struggling with for so many months. I don't want to make these same mistakes as the makers of that movie. I don't want to write in plot holes, or leave threads untied, or forget important characters. I don't want to smash empty cars on the freeway, or kill off characters for shock value without advancing the plot. And so I am taking my time. Much more time than I ever planned or expected, and more writing than I've had to do since I first wrote Descendant (which went through about 30 drafts) in order to get it right.
Unfortunately, this means Legacy most likely won't be released in April, or even May. But it WILL be released, and as soon as I have a better idea of when, I promise I will shout it out to all of you.
I'm so sorry to keep you all waiting, but the truth is ending a series is HARD. This book is, to date, the hardest book I've ever written. And I want it to be awesome. I want it to be worth the wait. I want to do it right.
What about you? What things have you had to work hard to get right?