To Be Continued

Hidey Ho Scribblers!  It’s Saturday once again, J Monkeys blathering here.  In just a few short weeks, all of our favorite shows will go on summer hiatus…well, almost all.  True Blood will be back from hiatus and really, that’s a good thing!  But Fringe, Once Upon a Time, The Mentalist, Criminal Minds, they will all be gone for months.  Some of them might even be gone for good!  Please, oh please, SOMEBODY pick up Fringe for next year…I’m not ready for it to be over!

But I digress.  My three least favorite words in TV world could find their way to the screen in the next few weeks and even if they aren’t seen, you know they are lingering in the static…to be continued.

Yup, their commin’ and that got me to thinking about sequels.  Do you like them?  What do you like about them?  For me, it depends.  For example, I loved The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and I really liked the sequel, Catching Fire, but it took me a while to come around to Mockingjay.  That third book is very different from the first two…

I came to the Twilight series late in the game, after Breaking Dawn was already available, but like the rest of the world over the age of 10, I had to wait years between the Harry Potter books.  Of course, they were very much worth it!

I think what it comes down to is a need for a satisfying ending to the book I just finished.  I really don’t like being left on tenderhooks.  While you knew there would be more books coming in the Twilight series, each book stood on its own. 

If any of you read Anne Rice back in the day (I heard she has a new werewolf series out!) I was really angry with the ending of The Witching Hour.  This was a wonderful story – a huge tome of a book – right up to the last 4 pages.  The thing was captivating for 1300 pages and then, she didn’t wrap the story up – she started a new direction, leaving the bad guy out there.  I can’t remember the name of the sequel, but I was so angry that I don’t think I’ve read The Witching Hour again.  That’s unusual for me.  I often re-read book.  I reread books I like many times.  maybe enough time has passed that I can give it another go…


Today’s secret: I’m about to start the 3rd book in a series and I’m thinking about sequels a lot lately!

Today’s Question: Where do you stand on the topic of sequels?  Do you love ’em or hate ’em?

10 thoughts on “To Be Continued”

  1. I love sequels, J. But as you said, each book has to be able to stand alone and have a satisfying ending. I don’t mind some cliff hangers if I know the series will be out sooner rather than later, but there has to be a resolution to the main conflict and it can’t be anticlimactic. I was a little disappointed at the end of Hunger Games. It left me feeling a bit ambivalent about the plight of Katniss and Peeta. I’m not sure how Collins might have done it differently, but I was very happy I didn’t have to wait long for Catching Fire, which I thought was a much better book.

    I’m struggling with how to end the first book in my own upcoming trilogy. There has to be some threads left unresolved in order for the story to carry over for three books, but I have to find a way to close out the major conflicts in that first book or I’ll be hearing readers say the same about me…double edged sword that series writing is. You get to play out your characters in a much larger arc, which is great for those characters you just can’t get enough of, but keeping the story moving forward and yet having each book stand on its own are very big challenges for an author. Hopefully, I’m up for it:-)

    As you know, I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, but it takes so bloody long for the next book to come out (three years between each), that I forget all the loose ends left open from the previous book and then I’m forced to revisit the 1000+ page “bricks” that take me weeks to get through. I’m a dedicated fan and it’s worth the effort, but it requires a big chunk of time, which is a precious comodity these days.

    1. I agree – I was a little bit put off at the end of THG, and down right annoyed at the end of CF…Suzanne Collins is very talented at being mean to her characters. She upped the ante again and again…to where even my non-writer husband said, “Wow, she’s mean! Poor xyz character with the torture, poor abc character with the whole death thing!” Well, hubby used character names, but I don’t want to spoil it for others! 🙂

  2. I love sequels, but they do need to stand alone. I read a book once where the story just ended after 400 pages. No resolution at all. You had to get the next book to find out what happened. I was so angry, I didn’t buy it. I felt like the author completely stole my precious time.

    I did like the Witching Hour, but I think I know what you mean about the ending. It was so long ago, I should go back and check, too.

    1. Yeah – I know the Lord of the Rings trilogy has a huge faithful following, but I hated the ending! I was just left there…wondering what happened. Not my cup of tea at all! I did a bit of digging and found out that there had been a 3rd book in the Mayfair Witches story…sigh.

  3. I enjoy books that are written in a series. Harry Potter and Twilight were my favorites. I have not read The Hunger Games, but it’s on my list. I enjoyed Laura Moore’s Rosewood Trilogy as well as Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The Dark-Hunter Series. The characters are carried through the books and the readers reallyy get to know the as well as their worlds. The Harry Potter Series is the best in that not only did we become familiar with him, and his friends, but we also became familiar with his surroundings. We all know Harry has a pet owl, he goes to school at Hogwarts, and we all know about the Shrinking Shack. We watched Harry as he grew and matured. Right now, I’m working on an out line for a three book series. Trying to create an amazing storyline which can pull you through all of the books in the series as well as make each book stand alone … there must be some magic involved. It has me doing something I have never done in my writing before, outlining. Now, would someone please pass me that magic wand so I can get this started!!??!! Great post J.

    1. I hear you! I’m about to start book 3 of a series myself. I have a general idea of what happens in this book – like 2 sentences-ish. I know where the series is going, but I need to do some major outlining before I can start writing. When you get that want, pass it my way, will you?

  4. I like series, because I become invested in characters and what to keep hanging out with them. One exception: Prequels. Hate ’em. Don’t even get me started on Star Wars.

    Writing a series is a whole ‘nuther thing. I am about to start the fifth and final book in the Mercy series, and I have learned a few things that I will take into any future series I write (and I have 2 planned). NEVER, EVER, EVER, EEEEVVVVVEEEERRRR THINK YOU CAN DO IT WITHOUT A SERIES “BIBLE.” Unless you are the Poppy Montgomery character on “Unforgettable.” I never had one for Mercy and I am constantly looking through earlier books to find out what kind of car someone drives, what street they live on, etc.


    P.S. The Mentalist had better give us one HECK of a season finale to stand up to previous years. I shall call my fiance, Simon Baker, immediately to ensure this is true.

    1. That two timing jerk! How dare he engage himself to you whilst having a torrid affair with me! 🙂 A series bible, hmm….I think I need one of those! All the facts, and maybe the loose ends too…

      1. I LOVE LOVE LURVE Simon Baker. He’s soooo dreamy. Sigh. I think a cat fight is on the horizon.

  5. Yes, the series bible is necessary. I’ve got a rudimentary one for my Bonaparte Bay stories. Unfortunately, unless you are Charlaine Harris and can pay someone to create one for you, you have to do it yourself. As for sequels, in general I love them, even when I hate them, because the characters have become like old friends.

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