Update Friday

Okay, so thought I’d jot off a quick update.

First off (and most important ;-)), thanks for all your input about the Adorable Whale Bag of Adorableness! I decided, after much thought, to go with the messenger bag, with possible purchase of the pocketed one to follow at a later date. I can NOT wait for it to arrive!! Wa-hoooo!! 🙂 🙂

Both of my status queries garnered very very nice responses—one hoping to have an answer by the end of the month, the other hoping to have an answer soon. I’m not exactly sure what this means, beyond the simple fact that both agents are exceptionally nice people and I get to wait some more. 😛 / 🙂

Seraphine is up to 7,027 words, and I’ve definitely reached the middle because I feel like it’s started to flounder a bit. Still, I think I can press through and wrangle this thing on to the end. I think. Next task is to make my characters fall in love, reveal pertinent backstory, and then zap ’em with my beautiful but tragic ending. Sounds easy, right?

Finished reading Skin Hunger the other night, and I liked it pretty well. One of those stories that sort of starts out quietly and slowly builds up to something profound, but is written well enough to keep your interest. Except…

Let’s talk about trilogies for a minute. You know how in most trilogies, the individual volumes, although very intricately connected to each other, have their own story arc? Build-up, conflict, at least partial resolution to the conflict, leading to a semi (or perhaps full-blown) cliffhanger ending. Right? You know those?

Skin Hunger didn’t follow this pattern. It was starting to get really, really interesting when it stopped. Just… stopped. No ending whatsoever. And I know it’s part of a series and that the second book is out (and I’ve reserved it at the library), but it left me feeling a bit cheated, because it didn’t really feel like a complete book. It didn’t resolve anything. But then maybe that was the point. I don’t know.

What do you think? Should books that are part of a series be able to—at least partly—stand alone?

I’ll leave you with a link to book editor Cheryl Klein’s thoughts on what makes writing good.

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6 thoughts on “Update Friday

  1. This is often my complaint about series too. I feel like each volume, especially the first one, should be able to stand alone, at least to some extent. Otherwise it's so frustrating! But I guess that's what keeps people wanting more…

    On a funny note, I linked to the same Cheryl Klein post on my blog this morning. I think she does a great job of boiling down all the most important elements in a story.

  2. Anna, I'm so glad I'm not alone; it IS frustrating!

    And that's so funny that you linked to Cheryl Klein's blog as well! You're right, she does a fantastic job separating the different story elements. Fascinating stuff!

  3. I'm a big fan of Kathleen Duey and Skin Hunger. I interviewed her on my blog about a year ago after I first read it. She's an amazing author and although I love the book, I did want to throw it across the room when I was done, because I had satyed up all night reading the whole thing and I wanted to read more and I knew the 2nd book still had another year before it would come out.

    I think that's pretty standard w/ series books. I will read them, but I never feel satisfied at the end.

    I just finished Sacred Scars last week. It's the same as the first. It's great, but still leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

  4. C.R. Evans, thanks for stopping by!

    I *did* like Skin Hunger and was quite impressed with Ms. Duey's storytelling prowess (the alternating chapters/plot threads were just plain COOL). But I still think she could've given us a LITTLE something at the end! It just plain STOPS. 🙂

    I recently read Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and though they definitely leave you gasping for more, there's SOME sense of resolution. I guess the only thing I quibble with is Ms. Duey's choice of stopping points 🙂 This makes me kind of afraid to read the second one!!!

  5. I'm a three-act play kind of guy.

    So, I think the perfect story is a three-part epic where each book is its own three-act play but also serves as an act in the overarching theme of the trilogy.

    That way you get the satisfaction of resolution with each book and still maintain the anticipation associated with wondering how the next book will move you forward in the epic.

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