Sunday, January 25, 2015

Don't leave me hanging!

Even with a series, don’t leave me hanging! That’s my feeling. 

I expect the dollars, time and emotions I invest in reading a novel to buy a great story that includes a satisfactory ending. Nothing leaves me more disappointed that feeling the book I read was little more than an advertisement for the next in a series.

When I turn that last page or click off the eReader, I want all plots resolved and all characters to be in a comfortable, complete place.

Someone said the first page of a novel must entice people to read your book. The last page (whether in a series or not) must entice them to read your next book. Leaving the reader disappointed is not a good way to accomplish that. 

If cliff hangers aren’t the way to incite further interest, what is? Good writing is, of course. Also, especially for a series, insanely wonderful characters will do the trick.

If I’m intrigued by the way the characters did or did not handle life and circumstance, I’ll want to read more. If their imperfections drove their lives but I loved them anyways, I’ll want to see them through into their next adventures, hoping they’ll change for the better. If their wit or strength or spiritual natures are incredibly inspiring, I’ll crave more of their enlightenment and humour. If their pasts are a little hazy, their motives less than clear, their dreams and aspirations hidden—I’ll demand those secrets eventually be shared with me.

The best books for me contain characters that are so intensely real I fall in love with them. The best series are those where each novel wraps up the plot, consummates the relationships and leaves me wondering, given their strengths and foibles, their current place in life, their pasts and their promise, their tears and fears, how will the characters fare in the future?

When reading a series, I’m invested in the characters just as I was in my own children. I worry about them, hope for them, seek to understand them. I love them to bits. I don’t mind spending time with them, learning more about them, seeing them through trials, sharing their dreams.

And, always, always, always I’m pondering their futures.

Brought to you by THETRAZ Book 1 in the BackTracker Series
“…can't wait to read the sequel...”

“Exciting, powerful, & tragic.”

“I came away wanting more!”

“The first of a series, igniting an appetite for the sequel…”


Unknown said...

I couldn't agree more - I HATE when I finish a book and I have to wait months/years for the next in the series just to find out how the story ends. If the book ends, the story better end too, although the characters can definitely live on and have future adventures. I like to write my books so that anyone could pick up any book in the series and not feel lost, whether it's the first book or the last.

Eileen Schuh: said...

Hi, Jennifer! Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I enjoy the feedback--especially when it agrees with my opinion! lol Keep on writing.