Ursus sent me a preliminary sketch of Anselm and I made a couple of suggestions. Progress is being made! Woo-hoo!
And speaking of progress, I had this great idea last night for an epilogue to my third book (and the series in general). Actually, I had two ideas. The first one slips into the first person as Kalyn recounts what happens to them for the first six months or so after the end of the third book. The alternative that I came up with—that I like even better—is told from the point of view of a young soldier, who meets Kalyn and a couple of others several months after the end of the third book. I like it better because it ends the book (and series) on a slightly more positive note, because the young man is given the option of joining them. The story ends there, before you see what he chooses, but that’s kind of what I like about it. It’s not a “The End” sort of moment. It makes you wonder if I might go on to write about this young man joining them (definitely no plans for that, because I’m all out of plot for this series).
I like not tying everything up into a neat little bag and then throwing it out. A tiny little opening, a hint of a loose end, makes it end more hopefully. Sometimes I have trouble coming to grips with books that end—as in the main character(s) die, so there’s no hope for anything else after that. Mind you, even if the main character(s) don’t die, that doesn’t mean that the series should drag on past its normal life expectancy (coughAnitaBlakeSeriescough). I just like it when there’s a little hope at the end, so, in your mind, it’s never truly over and done with. Books that are really and truly over with at the end make me depressed.
I was trying to talk to my husband about a little bit of this, without actually saying what happens in the epilogue, and, even more importantly, without saying who I’m planning on killing off. He looked at me, a little alarmed and said, “You’re not planning on telling me how it ends, are you?” I told him “no.” He said, “Good.” That sort of pleased me—that he’s interested in the first book enough that he wants to wait to read the second and third one when they’re done. So I alone know the plot and how it really ends.