Writing
a series of novels does not give an author the right to leave the reader
dangling mid-plot at the end of any of the books in that series.
Whether
a compilation of three or ten books is planned, every book should be written to stand
alone. An author should always be mindful that a reader may not pick up book
one first. Instead, book three in a series might grab the reader’s attention
and send him looking for the first two books.
In the last
year, I read two books written in a popular genre, which because of the genre’s
very nature, has many similar plots and character names. The first book ended
without any plot resolution. Unresolved plots are not the way to this reader’s
heart—and I believe many readers would agree.
Almost
a year later, I pick up another book by the same author, and the frustration began
from the very first page. Characters walked on stage without introduction, plots
seemed to have already started before I got into the author’s story world, and
I found myself lost and flipping pages to see if I’d missed anything. Still, I
continued on because I’m a glutton for punishment. Halfway through the book, I
connected the dots and realized that the book in my hand was the second book in
the series that had aggravated me previously. The good news: I finally got
resolution to the plot. The bad news: I really didn’t much care. The author had
two chances to win me over, and she failed.
Authors do not want their readers to
complain about their books. So, when writing a series, it is important to
self-edit with an eye toward giving each book legs of its own. In other words,
even when a plot will resurface in another book in a series, there has to be
a definitive end to each plot in the book at hand. A plot that ends with the
hero riding off into the sunset while the heroine looks on in tears provides a
resolution—albeit unhappy—but there is a promise of another story. Failure to resolve
a plot causes a reader to feel cheated of both time and money.
Happy
editing.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!

Share This

Share this post with your friends!