I had never before experienced writing as anything but a solitary occupation, but this was something wholly different. This too, was collaborative. If I turned in a chapter that left key questions unanswered, or did not give full treatment to essential plot points, I got taken to task for it, and was sent back to the drawing board to try again. These guys were tough, and I loved it!
I loved it because they loved it. Their criticisms weren’t made out of a sense of malice, but rather, out of a deep love and respect for the universe we were building one rock, one tree, and one painful chapter at a time, and it made the story better than it otherwise would have been.
Originally, I had planned to end the book with a cliffhanger…the main villain presents himself, gives our heroes an awful choice, then departs, giving them an hour to think it over, vowing to return and either accept their unconditional surrender or rip them to shreds.
The thinking here was that the books would end, and the computer game would pick up from that point.
The players would create their own ending.
But my readers howled at this, and insisted that it was a cheat.
After living and bleeding with our heroes over the course of three books, they (the characters), and the series itself, deserved a proper ending, and so…I was sent back to the drawing board to create one.
It nearly doubled the length of the third book, but they got their promised ending, and I have to admit…they were right.
It took the series to the next level, making it fantastic, instead of just decent.
I can’t thank them enough!
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Project completed, January 2007