How Can You Tell that Your Story is Finished?

By now I'm sure you have all heard me talk about Breath of the Titans, the first trilogy of books I wrote. I walked blindly into book writing, but I found a formula that worked well for me. I even managed to squeeze three books out of myself, when I only planned on writing one. That's not mentioning the other tales that followed. Lately, I've had a few people ask me if there is more to the story of Lov, or if that's the end of the journey. Especially since I have written a few other books. In truth, I'm not one hundred percent sure, and I don't ever think I will be.

It's hard to tell when a story is finished. Especially if you focus on a specific character of a particularly long-lived race. There are almost always more tales to tell, and the story of Lov is a long one. It's full of perils and adventure, with loving friends along for the ride.

With my Breath of the Titans series, I thought I knew where the definitive end was. The only problem I thought I needed to sort out was at which point to quit telling the tale. I've even plotted out most of his journey for close to a thousand years, but I think it was all for naught.

I approach my fantasy writing differently than I do writing everything else. I focus on what I want for the scene and meditate to get all of it just right. Then I talk to my lovely co-author, and when all plot points are agreed upon, I write for the day. I don't always know when the end of the tale is approaching, or even where it should be set.

It's especially hard with Breath of the Titans since I've tried to keep Lov's story one continuous journey from the end of The War of the Chiefs and continue it onwards. The end of the first trilogy feels less like an end, and more like a starting point.

Now I have a different conundrum, as I always assumed I would consistently follow the linear lines of time, but I've found that the character himself wants to start the next part of the story towards the end of his tale. I’ve spent months planning and plotting the story from one point, just to have the character tell me it's not the right time to tell that tale. And no matter how hard I try to steer Lov away from the end, he keeps insisting it's another beginning. I'm starting to believe him, as I watch a future unfold for that world, even as I begin to follow Lov where he will lead me.

Now I have a different perspective on the entire matter. Beginning, end, these are subjective terms. I truly know the story is finished when I quit writing it. Until I'm sick of telling the stories of Breath of the Titans, the story will never be finished.

As for your story, there's only so much I can tell you. You are the only one who can set the end, just don't try to carry a story on if it wants to be finished. Keep being awesome and #SupportIndieAuthors.

Riley Amos Westbrook