That’s what writing The Goddess Legacy was like for me.
The Goddess Legacy is a prequel to the Goddess Test series, and it consists of five novellas told in the points of views of the Greek gods — major characters in the series, but we rarely see the stories through their eyes. The first book in the series, The Goddess Test, was published in April 2011, and the second came out a year later. By the time my amazing editor, Mary-Theresa Hussey, brought up the idea of The Goddess Legacy, I’d already written the third and final book as well.
My ending was written, all 250,000 words of it. Not just written, but most of it was published, and changing anything wasn’t an option.
Suddenly I found myself facing a question I’d never contemplated before: how do you write a compelling story when virtually everyone who reads it will already know how it ends?
In preparation, I read prequels to some of my favorite series and tried to figure out what it was I enjoyed about them as a reader. It all boiled down to two things: satisfaction and surprise. Satisfaction in seeing the puzzle pieces fall into place, and surprise at how it all happens. The prequels I read were rich and complicated, and seeing the ending slowly appear as story threads weaved together was an experience I wanted to give readers as well. Because the Goddess Test series is a modern-day adaptation of Greek mythology, I had a backbone to work off of, and I combed the myths of the various characters I’d decided to write about, searching for any tidbits that might offer the reader that same satisfaction.
For me, The Goddess Legacy was an exercise in restraint and writing toward the inevitable, something I’d never experienced before. It’s by far the most complicated story I’ve ever written, with everything having to fit just so, and I had a very short amount of time to do it. But as difficult as it was, along the way I learned something unexpected: I learned just how energizing it is to know exactly where I was going. The fun wasn’t in the destination – it was in the journey, in discovering the stories that shaped each of the five characters. As I wrote each story, a picture formed in my head — one that didn’t just include the five individual character novellas that make up The Goddess Legacy, but how they all fit together, too. I’d found my own sense of satisfaction in the story, and I can only hope the reader finds it, too.