~~~

Well, we’re one episode away from reaching the end of the second arc in what’s turning out to be another long book in this series… lol. To date, we’ve already clocked in over 190,000 words for Book Six with one final ‘Mother’ arc to delve into.

At this time, I’ve decided to take a short summer break before jumping back into the final arc of Book Six. There’s quite a lot of story left to cover in this last arc and I need the time to get it ready. The New Cleveland arc will conclude on Friday. Book Six: Mother will finish with the final arc, starting Monday, August 19th.

As for what’s coming down in the final arc, we will be returning to Meredith, Stephen, Logan and Megan, six weeks after we heard from them last. This will catch up their timeline with the New Cleveland arc. As far as what’s been happening with them, they’ve been on the move trying to keep Meredith hidden from Toby’s dark forces out to find her. I can’t mention much more without stepping into spoiler territory, but there will be an included backstory showing us Meredith’s relationship with Frank Carman.

On the other side of this final arc, we will also find out what happened to Gina after she flew away on a helicopter to join Clementine out on that Mother-run island.

Beyond the conclusion of Book Six, I’m going to jump right in to writing Book Seven, which is titled, The Prophet. Can’t say much about that right now, except that Book Seven is the first of two final books that will finish this long series. More on that later.

On a side note, if you haven’t heard already, The Walking Dead comic book series just finished recently. The reason I bring this up is that when you’re writing a story as long as my series has become, you look to similar stories that have run a while as a sort of ‘benchmark’ for how others have ended their long apocalypse tales to gauge the readers’ reactions to said endings.

I’m not going to spoil the plot details on how Robert Kirkman ended his series, but it was interesting how he approached it. Apparently, he knew how his story was going to end for some time now, and he chose to surprise the readers with it by keeping the final issue a secret. Kirkman felt that, like the many characters in his story that had surprising deaths, the conclusion of The Walking Dead comic book series should be just as surprising.

I’m torn about how he ended his series like that. Part of me gets it, while another part of me thinks he cheated by not announcing the end of his series. To me, by doing what he did, he went around the building expectation that comes with the ending of a story, especially a long one, by abruptly surprising his readers with it.

Anyway, this just got me thinking about the ending of my series, which I will be staring in the face starting in the next book. It got me thinking about how difficult it’s going to be to satisfy reader expectations for something this big that’s run as long as it has. One thing I will definitely not be doing is surprising you with some sudden ending. You will know in advance when the end is near. I can promise you that right now. As far as expectations go, whether it’s the readers or my own, I will endeavor to end Don’t Feed The Dark in the way it started… with the characters’ stories being the most important part of this long, dark tale. Aside from that, I’m not going to worry about expectations. I’ve never hit a point in the writing of this tale where I felt that I had run out of story and had to make up ‘filler’ just to keep it going. In fact, I had no idea that Don’t Feed The Dark would run this long… but it has… and that’s because the story has brought me this far, and I trust that the story, along with the characters, will carry us all along to the intended conclusion.

But now, as I start to write the conclusion of Book Six, I can feel the end finally coming. I strongly suspect that these last two books will pour out of me, driving me toward the finish line. For me, this story is already finished, somewhere in the back of my head or in some mystery ‘Elsewhere’ land where stories come from… lol. It’s my job to keep on retrieving it from that mysterious place and get us all there.

Well, that’s enough of my wondering wanderings about endings and expectations. I just wanted to share those thoughts I’ve been having. I’m looking forward to jumping in to the last two books of this series and finishing this long journey with all of you. But first, we need to finish Book Six… and it will be a game changer.

More to come.

-Scott.

~~~

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