Listening to: Nero, from Archangel, by Two Steps from Hell
The last two weeks or so I have been working on adding missing material to the story at the end of the Lupa timeline, working title “End of the Lupa” in the story list. The first parts of this story were written in 2009, and it has slowly changed and evolved since then.
Of all the Lupa stories I’ve planned so far, this is the saddest one. Everything ends, but writing it out in some ways seems very cruel. You make decisions that tear them down and on one hand you take the story and characters where they need to go. And part of you thinks, “why am I doing such horrible things to them?” Some writers, we talk about the characters we love the most being the ones we put through hell and break down over and over in some cases, until they’re permanently broken and a completely different character.
But it’s the end, so that’s not enough. There’s the species to deal with, and their planet. It’s the end, people have to die. Sometimes we wonder how far we can go. It’s not easy to destroy a civilization, culture, and people you’ve spent so much time creating. It’s one thing to write out the death of a character, and another to destroy their planet in one short paragraph. To break their leaders, the people. To send them running around their part of the galaxy looking for a planet that won’t kill them. And when it comes down to it, you’re going to make it worse.
It’s hard. You have to go to dark places, and finding the right music always helps (Final Hope, from Tree of Life, by Audiomachine). But to write something that makes you cry inside while you write it–that’s worth something. Many people write for fun, and that’s okay. I write tons of things for fun. But you don’t not write something just because it’s hard, or because you don’t know how.
It doesn’t just stretch and grow your characters; it does the same for you. It makes you examine yourself, others, your characters, the purpose of your writing and stories. It forces you to dig deep and see what’s there.
The entire Lupa population has just been reduced to 23. Picking up the pieces is hard, and I don’t know how they’re going to get to where they’re going next, but they will.