Thank you to Don for offering to host my guest post and being a part of the promotion for Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. This is the last book of my 15-volume fantasy adventure series, so it’s a big step. I’m closing the book on something that’s been a part of my life for nearly 20 years. This has me thinking about closure, which sounds like an apt topic to talk about. Though more for the characters than myself since they’re the ones retiring and I’m just here pouting into a pint of Ben & Jerrys. Yeah, I probably deserve the judging I just got.
There are many ways to give closure for a character, who really have earned a break since we pummel them without mercy. When you get to the end of a story, you owe it to the readers to let them walk away feeling like they read a finale. For a series, you can create mini-closures at the end of every volume that seal part of the adventure, but you can’t do this at the end. Even if part of you wants to leave it open for the slim possibility of another story, you need to put most of the characters to bed here. As harsh as that sounds, an entire series can fall apart because the author left too much open or had a half-hearted ending. I think we can all name a book, movie, or TV series that had a final entry that disappointed us. It makes it hard to go back and enjoy the adventure again.
I did find myself in an odd position though, which is that I still have other stories to tell in Windemere. So, the survivors of Legends of Windemere can be used for cameos and come up in conversation. Unless the Baron is the one who wins, which means all the other series happen in a fantasy dystopia. The point is that I did give characters closure, but for some it was in a way that they lived on. As easy as it is to end a story with a hero dying or just walking off into the distance, it gives a rather blunt finale to the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong because that definitely works and put the kibosh on most debates about the future. Yet, there is something to be said for an ending that still leaves the readers thinking about the characters. It creates some longevity for the series and you can continue talking about as if the characters are still out there living their lives. Harry Potter is a great example because it ended years ago and people are still discussing it. Rowling still adds to it too, which certainly helps. We can call this a series closure instead of a world or character closure.
Now, there is one advantage that I think I have over other series and that’s having an ensemble cast. Instead of one main hero, I had six to carry the load and work toward the great battle. This means I don’t have to do one type of closure, which can be entirely hit or miss. In theory, I can do six different endings with each character getting a different fate. Some will die, some will live happily ever after, others survive as broken figures, and the list can keep going when you include magical solutions. This really drives home the fact that the ending of a story can be more than victory or failure. There are so many other options as long as you look at the world and progression of events. Many people push really hard for that happy ending or to show that life is pain, but going for that without blinking runs the risk of you creating closure that is forced. People want a natural ending where things fit neatly together even if it’s not rainbows and lollipops.
Honestly, as much as a planner as I am, I never had a clear idea of how I was going to end this. There were scenarios for each character to live or die, for each hero to be the one to kill the Baron, for the Baron to win, and the list kept going. It wasn’t until I sat down to do the outline that I thought long and hard about the decision. There was a lot of gut following here instead of trying to logic my way out of it. Yes, I could go with the fan favorite to save the day or I could go with the hero who gets the least amount of attention. Both were viable considering everything they went through. In the end, I had to make the decision and live with it. That’s probably the hardest part too. Now that the book is out and the series is done, this ending is what it’s going to be. An author has to accept that and be proud.
Again, a big thanks to Don for hosting me while I promote Legends of Windemere: Warlord of the Forgotten Age. Hope to see people in the comments and please feel free to check out the finale.
Author Bio & Social Media
Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.
All cover art done by JASON PEDERSEN