Feb 11, 2009

Cliff-hanger

Okay, I admit it. This is another post generated by a question posed on the AW message board. This one was in regards to writing books with a cliff hanger ending so the reader will know there’s a sequel.

All I can say is, DON’T DO IT!

As a reader, nothing infuriates me more than getting to the end of a book I’ve been enjoying only to find out the story is continued in a book as yet to be published. The author might as well write “to be continued” on the last page, which at least is more honest than sucking someone into paying for a story that isn’t finished.

I just read a book that pulled this on me and what was really disappointing was that it’s by one of my favorite authors. She writes contemporary romance, vampire romance, and shapeshifter romance. Her contemporary romance are stand alone while her vampire romance could be considered a series although the books also stand alone. Her shapeshifter romance though, drag one story out over several volumes, which is why I don't read them. The book I just finished, however, was a vampire romance and I was appalled when I got to the end of it to find out the story wasn’t finished. I feel betrayed by this author.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy reading books that are part of a series. Sometimes the series follows a character into different situations, sometimes it focuses on minor characters within the story. However, each book in the series has a satisfactory resolution, it’s complete.

A story that is stretched out over more than one book is, to my thinking, a cheat. The author is saying that if you want to know the rest of the story you have to shell out for their next book.

How hard is it to wrap things up in volume one and come up with a new situation for volume two?

Driving Into Forever started out as a stand alone book, but two of the characters (who never even meet in DIF) started clamoring for a story of their and so I started a sequel. This, too, I consider a stand alone, even though it will be part of a series. I have two other volumes in mind, but although the books will be connected by setting and circumstance, you do not have to read them in the order in which they are going to be written for them to make sense.

Magic has the potential to be a series with the connection being a piece of jewelry, and Changeling will be a series with the connection being setting and situation. See how easy it is? There’s so much potential for sequels that there’s no need to drag a story out over several volumes just to generate more sales.

Shame on you for trying!

1 comment:

Fish Out of Water... said...

I agree! I cant stand a never ending story. The characters need to have a resolution to their conflict, or it just keeps rolling on. The cliff hanger should continue to be a tool for continuing TV series -- to help you hang in there for a new season.