Author’s Advice Pt. 17

Writers, Sequel Bait is a very dangerous move to make, especially if you’re going to end on a down note. I’ve seen many good stories that didn’t fare too well on the market end with all their loose ends untied in anticipation of a sequel. I’ve seen it in movies too.

Now, I understand that you’re confident in your writing and you want a good setup for your next book, and that’s fine… but just know that there is a lot of risk and if you’re book doesn’t do well, an open ending is not going to improve things. It’s actually going to anger many readers or make them anxious.

This is a lesson that I learned very quickly with Magnifica: Tears of the Fallen. I left the ending wide open and got a LOT of angry emails for it. Thankfully, I never intended on leaving it open for too long and by the time the angry emails started, I was already submitting my final draft of Magnifica: Gravestalker for approval, so my readers did not have to wait long to be satiated.

So I’m not saying don’t do it. If you have a strong readership, then your book should be able to survive any onslaught of reader rage, just be sure you know what you’re getting into.


Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

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4 thoughts on “Author’s Advice Pt. 17

  1. jbgarner58 says:

    I think the proper balance, if you have a plan for a series, is to try to wrap up at least *some* plot threads in each volume. Make each book have a contained story arc that resolves fully, while resolving or progressing the overarching metaplot. That way, your readers get some fulfillment in each book, but you don’t give it all away at once, letting your series continue to progress.

    Well, those are my thoughts anyway. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. When did the need for series and/or sequels start, anyway? I’ve been reading Diana Wynne Jones’ REFLECTIONS ON WRITING, and she isn’t shy about sharing her thoughts on series arcs (that is, she didn’t like them). If memory serves, out of the gazillion books she wrote, only three, maybe four had sequels. Even in the Chrestomanci series, Chrestomanci himself is not always a primary character. Granted, I’m working on a series myself, and feel good about this decision. I’m just wondering how many stand-alone stories the publishing world takes on vs. sure-fire series stories. I hope that makes sense.

    Like

  3. I love a good series, but often don’t read them until they are completely done. I just can’t wait years between books. I forget the details and nuances, sometimes the characters and plot!

    I have a trilogy coming out this summer, and it’s all coming out at once even though that meant delaying the first two books. Now I’m working on another series. Will I wait until all the books are done? Probably not this time, but I’ll try space them only a few months apart. That’s my solution to the dangling threads. I don’t like to wait, so I don’t make my readers wait:)

    Like

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