Like two solid bookends, the finish for 3 WISE MEN was, for me, as important as the beginning – although, at first, I didn’t give it enough attention! It was during a review of the draft that I felt uneasy about the pace of the final chapter and, in particular, the last paragraph. Here are extracts from two earlier versions:
V1 (from Review #8):
The three men started to walk down the narrow path that led away from xxx to the waiting launch in xxx harbor.
They had not gone far when they all stopped and Jak turned around and looked back. Philippe, Ambroise and Laura all waved.
V2 (from Review #12):
Jak and the others turned to begin their walk from xxx to the launch waiting for them in xxx. Already, a morning glow was bathing a gentle light over a grove of twisted olives – their trunks now in stark relief against the canopy of fine leaves that flanked their path.
They had not gone far when they all stopped and turned back to enjoy one last view of the castle. Philippe, Ambroise and Laura all waved.
There was some laughter before Laura called back – her voice matching the softness of the morning.
Which one did you prefer? The first version is short and winds down the previous tension in the chapter too quickly – at least for me. The second version allows me to breathe after the previous events, and helps me feel the atmosphere of the early morning walk. However, I had to be careful to not overdo it. For example, here are two different versions of the last sentence above:
1. There was some laughter before Laura called back – her voice matching the softness of the fresh morning.
2. There was some laughter before Laura called back – her voice matching the softness of the new morning.
As an author, you get to enjoy the agony of just one word and I kept feeling unhappy about either “fresh” or “new”. In the end, I simply removed the adjective after realising that it wasn’t needed. Why not? Because the preceding word “softness” was a perfect description of the morning, so there was no need to add anything more. This minor change meant that the formatting had to be done again – both for Kindle and Amazon paperback. At least it was an easy fix and improved the bookend.
3. There was some laughter before Laura called back – her voice matching the softness of the morning.
I hope you think so too!
Thanks for reading 3 WISE MEN. All feedback is welcomed.