Ending the God Fragments: Guest Post by Tom Lloyd
The wheel of time turns, and series come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the series that gave it birth comes again. In one series, called the third series by some and the God Fragments by others, a scarred and traumatised veteran joined a bunch of malingering drunks to go rescue a kidnapped young woman.
That’s how Lynx met Toil, less damsel-in-distress and more reason-for-distress. And for various reasons, they’re drawn together to carve a path through the history of their world. Back in 2014 when the world was a less insane place, I was asking myself what sort of story I wanted to write next. I came up with a few vague ideas and filtered those through the half-baked images, discarded scenes, and never-pursued short stories that litter my head and came up with something that sounded fun.
So I set to work and played with ideas, characters, and timelines until I found something that felt right. I showed that to my agent, Simon Kavanagh, along with a load of other ideas, and over the course of a few (slightly bruising) hours and several pints, he showed me the dozen ways where it had problems. I trudged back to the word mine and started chipping away to turn the idea into something better.
Fortunately, selling that idea to Gollancz proved to be less painless. Almost like my agent knew what he was talking about eh? The previous series hadn’t sold well but fortunately, Marcus Gipps had great faith in an author he’d inherited from another editor and proved keen on the idea of a simple tale with plenty of booze and banter.
As it turned out, most people seemed to agree. You can’t please everyone, but SFX gave it 5 stars among others while the blogger community said lots of lovely things about it. I wrote more – novellas and novels both. Lynx and Toil marched on and people continued to enjoy it.
The series didn’t become a worldwide break-out success like I always hope and life wasn’t always peachy, but the Cards had become a pleasure to hang out with. Even when I was knackered and money was a bit tight, I enjoyed the days I spent with them. If I didn’t know what scene needed to come next (one aim at the start was not to over-plan things) I just let them talk/drink/squabble/swear/make crass jokes because it was fun, got the creative juices flowing and I could always delete the rubbish out later.
And now we’re at the end. There’s a real sense of loss when you write those final words. After that last set of page proofs, you may not actually hang out with them again. I wrote my books for me and enjoy the occasional re-read, but still, there’s a sense of finality. Like when a friend moves to the other side of the world. You may see them again, you may talk briefly, but life’s taking you in other directions.
Those last chapters in particular are odd to write. They’re a way of saying goodbye directly to the remaining characters – giving them a future you’re only going to glimpse (assuming you give them a future, sorry Isak…). I’m not one of those authors who’s going to just use the same characters again and again to the end of my career. But I’ll miss them still. It’s part of the job and I’ll do it again, but if they weren’t special to you, what was the bloody point?
So what can people expect from God of Night? An ending, I guess! It’s as simple as that. There’s no time to lose, no more contingencies to prepare or future to worry about. We’re into the final months of the God Fragments tale and no one – not Toil, the woman with the plan, nor the Knights-Charnel (let alone Lynx himself) – really knows what’s coming when the burners start to fly. Everything is on the line and it’s going to end in darkness, blood, and fire. But in a fun way, I hope.