I have an ending. As I said earlier, I have been outlining, so I have always had a tentative ending. I would have been disappointed, though, if I had written all the way through the outline to its projected end and actually finished the book with the ending I originally wrote down.
Sometimes you start with an ending. You just write the book toward it. My first two Wizard books were close to that. This time, I started with the characters. I knew I wanted to write about angels, but didn’t know where the story would start, let alone end.
At some point I was thinking about mortality, immortality and how which you chose to believe in shapes your world view. Of course, none of us starts out “choosing” to believe anything. We believe what we are told to believe. If you are told that reincarnation is real, boom. That is what you believe. Most of us, though, start to question those beliefs at one or more points in our lives. Many then choose to redouble their faith in whatever religion they were taught. Many convert to some other religion, or follow some variation of the one they grew up with. Some never stop questioning.
So, I have been writing this book, inventing the world and creatures who inhabit it. More important to the story, I have been inventing their mythology. The majority of the characters believe in their tribal myth, but two or three question it. This is not usually something they do openly.
In a sense, this is a book about losing one’s religion. For myself, I see that as positive. Yet, it can leave a large hole. This book was never going to have a happy ending.
Today, when the ending came to me, I saw a way to express the enormity of that loss with a few familiar words and a poignant gesture. It’s a sad ending, yet it holds hope for the celebration of the life we get to live.