By Nichole Giles
The other day on the Borders website, I watched an interview with best-selling author, Stephenie Meyer. The interview was broken into segments, and in this particular one they were discussing the upcoming release of the “last volume” of Stephenie’s Twilight series, Breaking Dawn.
When the interviewer asked her what it felt like to know she is finished with this story, Stephenie winced. (I didn’t write down her exact words, so I’m afraid I’ll have to paraphrase what she said.) She said that she still couldn’t bring herself to call this the final volume, because calling this the “last volume” would be too hard. It would mean closing the door to this world, and saying goodbye to a friend, or group of friends, you’ve spent years of time with. Friends you really, truly love and will miss.
Stephenie’s thoughts really made me think about my own story, and how it will feel to say goodbye to my characters. When you spend a lot of time with characters, nurturing them and getting to know them, it’s almost as if they are real friends, real people. To say goodbye to those friends forever is incredibly painful, and really hard to swallow—especially if you allow yourself to believe the goodbye is forever. So, while you know this has to be the final volume for now, you have the choice and privilege of knowing that sometime in the future, if circumstance allows, you might get to visit this world and these friends again.
In the same interview, Stephenie pointed out that there are other characters, other avenues, other stories that may need to be told someday. And the words “final volume” are just…too final.
I have to agree. Just because you are writing the concluding volume of one story for now, don’t close that avenue or burn that bridge. Never say never, because the truth is, you really don’t know where you’ll be in five years, or ten. Or for that matter, two.
Those friends to whom you must say goodbye right now might someday be standing in front of you, smiling and waving and begging you to tell another story.