genre stuff writing & publishing

Starting Again & Tying Things Up

I’m at the start of book four in the Legends of the Red Sun series, which is the last. Whilst I’ve certainly enjoyed writing these books, I’m understanding just how much writing series throws up challenges.

Personally, I like to start each project with a relatively fresh slate – that’s why I hope both City of Ruin and The Book of Transformation can be read in isolation. I intended to do that for my own sanity – I didn’t want to have each book to rely on others, and it made writing each of them more fun, because I didn’t have to worry too much about making sure all the threads connected right then.

Much of the structure of Book Four is based around a principle of tying up loose ends. Tying up narratives annoys me – I like the creative freedom of not doing that and, also, I don’t believe life really does resolve itself so neatly. So the whole sentiment of finality just… annoys me. The books I love the most tend to tackle life in slices with open ends (Durrell’s The Alexandria Quartet or DeLillo’s Underworld).

But I’m not at the actual end point yet, and I’m wondering how I’ll feel – because this series would have taken up about four or five years of my life by that point.

By Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

4 replies on “Starting Again & Tying Things Up”

Hi Mark,

I can understand how much of a headache writing a series is! Tying all of it together is tricky and time consuming… even when you’re writing one book – I find that I end up forgetting minor details and have to keep correcting them all the time

I find books that tie up too neatly at the end irritating, for exactly that reason. Yes you need a satisfying end to the main plot, but I like to feel that there are events left to unfold after the books are done. I don’t want all the answers for all the characters, it leaves no where for the imagination to go and at that last moment destroys the sense of realism and the connection to the world and characters that has been built over the books.
Leave some threads untied and let us follow them in our heads once we are done. 🙂

hi mark just finished city of ruin and really enjoyed the read as i did with nights of villjamur both fantastic books , but the book that got me started reading your work was the reef which i enjoyed so much i read it twice , looking forward to the next book , well done .

Comments are closed.