Time to say Goodbye to Lucy and Mark
The moment I have been dreading arrives this month. Lucy and Mark – my erstwhile Canvey duo – take their final bows in the final book of the Aldwych Strand Trilogy: The Whitechapel Affair. It is a moment of mixed emotions. Not only have they occupied my free hours for the last four years, but I feel that because of them I have grown as a writer. Certainly I know a damn sight more about writing a book than when I started.
Book 1 was a romp through the early 20th century, pitching two teenagers into events over which they have no control. Lucy and Mark just blunder through it all, having a great time. Book 1 is rough around the edges but it got some nice reviews and constructive feedback and a publisher. Book 2 wrote itself (if I am honest). Lucy’s rite of passage, where sometimes you have to dance with the devil (literally) in order to survive. It benefited from an editor, who worked closely with me to rein in my love of semi colons and point out the inconsistencies and plot holes.
Book 3 has been tough, and (if I’m honest), there have been times when I never thought I’d finish it. Completing Mark’s education was difficult; tying up loose ends almost impossible; twisting history just enough to fit Lucy into that summer/autumn – a challenge – until I stumbled upon two little nuggets of information, which you’ll find in the inquest. Because yes, the witness testimonies at that inquest are accurately recounted; and Sam’s muttered comment is correct.
Last night I sent the final tweaks back. Now I wait for the judgement of the gods…
How do I feel about saying goodbye to Lucy and Mark and the others?
Numb. Uncomfortably numb.
Saying goodbye to characters who have, at times, become more real than the persons around one is tough indeed. The mistake too many writers make is yielding to the temptation of clinging on to them after they reach their sell-by date. I’m glad you are immune to that.
Indeed. They feel like family.
Time will tell how immune I am. But I have a whole new host of characters screaming at me to tell their story, and you know what that’s like 🙂
Indeed. Once you get immersed in that, it will be the perfect antidote!