Hello SErs. Harmony here. At the moment, I’m writing a trilogy, and I have a question about how you like for each book in a series to end. Cliffhanger or all tied off and settled? Or something in between?
By cliffhanger, I don’t mean that the main story arc and thread of the first book will be left unfinished. What I envision by a cliffhanger is that the main issue has been resolved (colonists have landed safely on a planet, say), but that another, new, issue then pops up at the last minute (the colonists discover they’re not actually alone on said planet, for example).
Do you, as both reader and writer, prefer to leave the new development for the start of the next book in the series, or do you think it’s okay to drop it into the final chapter of the previous book instead? I think it makes a good hook for the reader, but that’s just my personal opinion. What I don’t like is when I’ve invested hours of reading only to have the story stop without a proper close or any real resolution to the main threads. Those kinds of cliffhangers, I can do without.
I believe that any book, be it a standalone novel or part of a series, needs to contain three basic elements: Beginning, Middle, and End. These three elements hold the character and plot arcs and threads. The same for the series as a whole.
Good fiction needs the individual rain drops as well as the umbrella.
So, how do you like each component of a series to end? Let me know in the comments below.