As of a few minutes ago, I'm nearly done with the by-hand edits on The Accidental Warlock. There are two chapters left, the final conflict and the wrap-up. It's weird how long this has taken, and even weirder how much I've seen in editing it like this that I missed when reading it on my computer screen. It's been so long since I did this, I'd forgotten what it was like, and I know now that this is an essential step of the editing process.
But most importantly, I'm almost to the end.
After I reach the end, I'll have a lot of changes to make. I've already rewritten the first half of the first chapter. I also have entire chunks of the story to pull out and put in new places, paragraphs to delete, sections to rewrite with a different mood, and the occasional note that just says "FIX THIS". And as a result of all this, there are major changes to the ending.
Not a single one of those changes is a good thing for the two main characters.
I now understand why some fans think writers hate their own characters - hell, a few times, I've asked myself if having things go so badly is really necessary. And the answer is always 'yes'. As I've said before, TAW already has more of a downer ending than any other book I've written. But I gave some serious thought to the consequences of the characters' actions and realized I hadn't taken things as far as I should have.
There's not a lot I can say here without ruining the ending, but I know things have gotten a lot worse. Not as bad as they could be, of course; I could have killed off the entire cast and had the main antagonist win, but that would leave me without these characters for a sequel. ^_^ But I think the new ending works better overall, and puts everyone in a different place for whatever comes next. This also means I have to figure out whatever comes next, as this new ending renders most of my plans for the sequel invalid.
It is, in part, still a happy ending. Though it's one the main characters well and truly had to earn. And I think the whole book will be better for it.
Next entry: now that I've talked about the ending (without really talking about the ending), and now that I might have a few new readers here, I think it's a good time to take more than a few sentences to actually say what The Accidental Warlock is all about.