Why Should I Attend the Asheville Christian Writers’ Conference? Make the Most of Your 15-Minute Conference Appointments – Cindy Sproles 7 Things to Do NOW to be Ready When Writing Inspiration Strikes – Edie Melson You Need a Platform – Living A Story- Assignment 3 Redundancy: An Excessive, Oppressive, Pervasive Disease The One Sheet The Bio – The Fragrance of Who You Are Over-Edit? Imagery–When This is Like That Basic Writing and Editing Tips Blog or Website—Which One Does a Writer Really Need? – Edie Melson A Blog about Blogging My Blogging Affair – Terri Webster My GPS Writing Life: “Recalculating” – Elva Cobb Martin Is Your Blog Healthy? Conferences – Finding Direction Navigating Your Writing Success Why Your Writer’s Bio is Valuable Real Estate Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack Evaluate Your Progress on the Writing Path – Edie Melson So You Were Asked to be a Beta Reader Writing the Perfect Bio Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul 2014 Cleaning Guide for Writers (Critiques) Pray Uniquely Write Right – A Christian Writing Career Writers ADVANCE! Boot Camp 2015 Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul The Conference is Over – Awe, Man! Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada 15 Minute Appointments – Cindy Sproles Break Out of Your Writer’s Cell – Denise Loock Writers Call Out Assignment 3 – Conflict in Every Scene? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Assignment 2 – Gaining Word Count Assignment 1 – Picture Perfect Bio Writing as a Ministry Titles – Terrible or Terrific? How 5 Simple Tips Can Change Everything Rejection – Before You Blow Your Stack 10 Reasons NOT to Become a Novelist Commas – Bethany Kaczmarek Compounds Are Not that Complex – Bethany Kaczmarek Divorce My Words…Never! Get Your Grammar Fix (ed) – What Kind of Mood Are You In, Verb? Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living with Alzheimer’s & Other Forms of Dementia Find Your Blog’s Subscriber List and Schedule Email Notifications with Feedburner Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Reboot Your Life And Objective Look at Subjectivity My Take on…Creating Villians – Part 2 Mike Dellosso My Take On . . . Villains, Part 1 – Mike Dellosso Chicken Soup for the Soul – Writers Call Out Touching the Spirit of Our Readers Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul: Home Sweet Home First in Fiction – Characters – Aaron Gansky Critiques – No Pain, No Gain Making Time to Rest Writers Call Out The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story Writing’s Circle of Life Here a Tweak, There a Tweak, Everywhere a Tweak, Tweak What’s So Wrong with Waiting? Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup Books Emotion – Moving the Reader from Common to Uncommon Writers Call Out – Chicken Soup for the Soul Writing the Best You Can Bringing Security Blankets to Conferences—Tips for the Linus-Writers “Who Wants to Write a Story With Me?” CONTEST! – Mike Dellosso How to Get Amazon Reviews – Eddie Jones Freedom as a Holy Ghost Writer – Edie Melson My Worth Is NOT Determined by My Numbers – Edie Melson An Author’s Responsibilty – Cindy Sproles Call Out for Writers Connections: Social Media and Networking Techniques for Writers – Author Edie Melson Carolina Christian Writers Conference Chicken Soup Writing Opportunity The Tweet Life, Why Bother with Twitter? Angels, Miracles, and Heavenly Encounters – Writing Op How Writing an Article is Like Feeding a Baby – Edie Melson After the Conference…then what? Assignment 5 – Characteristics of a Lazy Writer Assignment 4 – TickyToes@urggggmail.com Assignment 3 – Pack a Punch When You Write Top Ten Authors Southern Writers Awards Boot Camp Free Subscriptions Assignment 2 – Vonda Skelton How to Make an Appointment Why I Should Make an Appointment Keep Your Image Current Top Five Blogspots Be an Encourager – Cindy Sproles Learning the Lingo – Part 4 – Appointment Etiquette with Agents/Editors Learning the Lingo – Part 3 – Publishing Terms Learn the Lingo – Critique Groups – Part 2 Learning the Lingo – Steps to Understand the Art of Writing and Publishing – Part 1 Preparing to Attend a Writers Conference Writing the Perfect Bio Don’t Forget! Writing Opportunity – Zookeepers Ministry Is SEO Dead? – Edie Melson What’s Holding You Back?

The End – Saying Goodbye to a Story

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net  by arztsamui
Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net
by arztsamui

by: Cindy Sproles

As I scanned through my Facebook notifications,  a post by my friend, Eddie Jones caught my eye. He had just turned in the final edits on book three of his three-book deal with Zonderkids.

Tomorrow morning I say good bye to Nick Caden. Finishing up the 3rd book in the Caden Chronicles series. I’ve never “finished” any series. There was always one more. But this one ends with the sadness of friend leaving for a trip from which he will never return. Authors talk about how characters cause us to cry and laugh. Saying good bye to Nick breaks my heart. Enjoy the rest of your life, buddy. We had some good times together. See you on the other side. ~ EJ

I paused, sighed and completely understood where he was coming from.  I recently completed a novel with a dear friend, Aaron Gansky. I loved the characters Aaron and I created  in this novel and I dreaded seeing the words “The End.”  It made me sad to think it was over.  Up to this point, I’d been an active part of these characters lives. I felt their pain, laughed with their humor, even kicked a few buckets when they were angry. I was, by all due rights, “invested” in them.

A few months prior, I’d finished the rewrite on a novel of my own. When that last wagon wheel turned and I saw my character walk away, I found myself…lost. I’d get up each day, turn my computer on and realize, there was nothing left to write. To me, in every sense of the word, it was like a death. My friend in whom I’ve invested so much, had gone her way and I was left behind to muddle through.

I’ve read books that drag me, not only into the life of a character, but into their heart as well. I fall in love with them, wish good things for them, even rebuke them under my breath when they do something stupid. That’s the joy and fun of reading  – getting sucked into the life of a character like a vacuum sucking dirt off the floor. You can’t fight the force of air that pulls you in and makes you an intimate part of the story. As a reader, I get to feel the punches of each character, but as the writer, I invent the punches. I feel them first in my imagination,  again as I bleed them onto the page, and a third time – after I step back, let it percolate, then revisit.

There is joy in completing a project – in telling a story from beginning to end. Setting the twists and turns, manipulating the words and thoughts of the characters into doing the unexpected.  For the writer, it’s emotionally draining, intoxicating (as Aaron says), even somewhat freeing. But when the story wraps and the final sentence hits the page – it’s bittersweet.

Writing has a circle of life just like us. Our story is born, it grows, rises to a  pinnacle, then is slowly deflates into nothing. It ends. What we have left are the memories of dreaming up a world that, for a time, gave us a place to hide and allowed us to be what we could never be in the real world.

This is the value in telling a good story. This is the mourning of saying goodbye to a character when the story is done.

This is the life of a writer – making up friends, living large through them for a short time, then sending them away.

 

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