You know what’s the worst? Sequels and trilogies. I’m so sick of them. I remember a time when you could pick up a book at the library, read it, and finish it. As in, the story was over when you ran out of pages. Now EVERYTHING is a series. And you don’t even get a resolution worth diddly.
Here’s a scenario I frequently: I’m reading a book and really enjoying it. But a sense of dread is building: I’m three quarters done. And I don’t think I’m close to the end. There’s no way the author could create a satisfying conclusion in the last quarter. I only just met the love interest, like, three chapters ago. Now I’m fifty pages from the end. Forty. Oh, shit, I’m holding the last pages in my fingers and my thumb is practically touching my index finger. There’s nothing leftandIwantaresolutionand
Coming soon: the thrilling filler book in the trilogy!
Damn it! Come ON. All you had to do was shoot the badguy in the face and everyone could have had a happy ending. Except for the badguy.
Look, I liked your characters enough to read ONE book. The law of diminishing returns says that the longer you draw this out, the more the author becomes the antagonist.
This comes down to audience expectations and what publishers want.
Audiences right now expect for there to be a Harry Potter and the Next Class Year. Hunger Games established in YA dystopian novels the could-have-been-one-book-but-ok-let’s-deal-with-the-whole-systemic-problem trilogy model, I think.
Don’t get me wrong. There were already series out there. I grew up on wanting the next Animorph book or Nancy Drew or whatever. But no one read The Hardy Boys and the Secret of the Old Mill, got the end, and thought “I can’t wait to find out if Tom Hardy and his brother Tanya Harding survive in the next book!”
So I’m forced to ask at the end of a lengthy post: what happened to concision, people? Must I skim through a middle book that amounts to little more than “Screw Flanders” repeated over and over?
All that said, I’d love to have the royalties from a trilogy. Do as I say, not as I do, people.