Ok, I know you’ve heard this from me before, but I am so, so close to finishing my rough draft (and by rough, I mean ROUGH). And I really mean it this time. I’m coming in just at 80,000, I’ve gone through a story arc and I’ve set up the action for the next books in the series. The only problem is, where do I stop?
You’d think since I’m writing a series that this would be the easy part. Can’t I just stop anywhere? Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. In fact, finding an ending for a series might be harder than finding an ending for a single book.
When reading a series, you want to feel satisfied by the ending of the book, but still eager to read the next book in the series. You need to feel like some things were resolved but that there is still a bigger picture in need of a resolution. In trilogies, the second book doesn’t always follow this pattern, but the first book almost always does. If you end too abruptly and leave too many ends untied, your readers may get frustrated. Frustrated readers often times equal lost readers. Losing readers is never a good thing.
So how do you find the perfect ending?
If I had the answer to this question, I’m sure I would have written a million books by now, or at least more than I’ve written to date. So what am I banking on then? That I’ll just know.
My plan is to stop when I think it’s done, then read through it and see how the ending leaves me – do I feel satisfied, disappointed, eager to read the next installment? Based off of my reaction, and eventually my beta readers, I should (hopefully) be able to gauge where it should end. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. And fingers crossed that I finally finish a first draft.