Writing the last book in a series reminds me of working a jigsaw puzzle. Early in the novel, the writer needs to reintroduce – briefly – all of the elements and main characters of the previous books. All of these pieces snap together to create the outer edges of the puzzle.
By the middle of the book, the edges must be filled in for several layers. Conflict grows out of the many interwoven elements, creating a honeycomb of holes for the main plot and new subplots. But everything still needs to link to the original puzzle’s previous stories.
At the end of the last book, every puzzle piece ever mentioned must find a home in the interconnected story / puzzle, but if the writer isn’t careful, the finale will be boring. The novelist needs to scoop all the remaining pieces into a box, jumble them around, and create an unexpected conclusion. All of the pieces have always been in sight, but with luck, the reader didn’t notice the all the possibilities.
For true success, the last lines must give all the satisfaction of placing the final jigsaw piece in place.
Today I’m starting the final novel my “The Rise of the Mindbender” series. And I’m excited to see what trouble Viper and Lorel can find on their way to confront the Mindbender.
Please wish me luck - and lots of writing speed! :-)