Naked in the Mirror

I am faced with a strange task. I’ve finished the first draft of the fourth and final book in The Tethering series. It’s done. The story is finished. But I love my characters. Jacob and Emilia will always hold a special place in my heart. And trying to choose Claire’s last line was so hard. She’s been there snarky and loving for four books! How do I say goodbye to her humor?

I know what I need to do. I need to binge read the first three books in The Tethering series. Note every quip and eyebrow raise and make sure I’ve left nothing out. I have lists of characters’ traits and info. Files of plot points and motivations. But what if I missed something?

What if there could be a sweeter goodbye? A word someone said that will finish the bow on their personal story line. I need to go through my own work with a highlighter and make sure I didn’t write anything subconsciously that I’ve since glossed over.

And I’m terrified to do it. Once the book is printed, it’s like watching myself on film or hearing myself sing. I’m proud of my work and confident that my editors and I made the books as shiny as they can be. But reading your own paperback book is like staring at yourself naked in the mirror for too long. You’re more exposed than if someone else were looking at you in your buck-naked glory.

But it’s time, and it has to be done. I’ll start from the boy in the window and see him through to the boy with the unbreakable heart. Because I care about all of them enough to stand naked in the mirror. Metaphorically, of course.

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