I have always had a hard time ending relationships, even destructive ones. If I met you in kindergarten, chances are you are still my friend. I’ve returned to the same job—and the same boss—four times. Heck, I even have lunch on occasion with my ex.
It should be no surprise, then, that as I near the completion of my second novel, I am dreading the necessity of saying goodbye to my characters. It’s not all that odd, if you think about it. Over the past year, these hardy Ulster Scots have been my constant companions, rising early with me and hanging out over lunch. When we had “naught tae eat,” we learned which native Pennsylvania plants are edible. When we were cold, we lit a fire using flint on steel. We struggled together through an 18th century wilderness, where we met the challenges of the frontier—and where I found a peace that doesn’t exist in my 21st century world.
Damn it, I’m not ready to say goodbye to it, or to them. Not yet.
But say goodbye I must if I want you to get to know them, so I sit here staring at the chapter heading, knowing it’s time to rip the Band-Aid off the hairy forearm. The climax is about to fill up all this white space. Falling action comes next, then resolution, and then, phooey, THE END.
Wouldn’t it be something if you too find my characters so rich that you don’t want your time with them to end? As a writer, I can think of no greater triumph.