BrownCoats, Scooby Gangs, & Muggles Unite

Do you wonder what happened after your favorite character’s happily or not so happily ever after? If you’re like me, which I hope you aren’t because two of us in this world would be dangerous, this question keeps you awake at night.

What happened to Inara and Mal? Did they ever…bow, chicka, waaaa, waaaa. Will I ever find out what happened to Zoe after Wash’s death? And River, what happens to River? What was their next adventure, and why the hell did FOX ruin everything by cancelling the show into the first season? I will forever hold a grudge.

Yes, I’m obsessed with Firefly. I recently rewatched it, taking careful notes of things the story didn’t answer. Now you’re probably asking yourself, what do I care about Julie’s madness? That or, what’s the meaning of life? (I’d give you the answer, but I’d have to kill you right after).

So here’s why you, as a writer, should care about my crazy. My obsession is a great example of leaving your readers wanting more versus giving the reader what they crave, as in answers. So are you a Tale Tease? (I call dibs on the copyright). Do you leave your readers wanting more? Or do you resolve any lingering questions?

I’m not sure there is a right or wrong way. For me, as a reader, I want to know it all. As an author, I like the mystery element. Though one must make sure to resolve the main plot points.

What say you?

J.A. (Julie) Kazimer
J.A. (Julie) Kazimer is a writer living in Denver, CO. Books include The Junkie Tales, The Body Dwellers, CURSES! A F***ed-Up Fairy Tale, Holy Socks & Dirtier Demons, Dope. Sick. Love. SHANK, Froggy Style, The Assassin's Heart, The Fairyland Murders & The Lady in Pink - Deadly Ever After Mysteries.

11 thoughts on “BrownCoats, Scooby Gangs, & Muggles Unite

  1. If the major plot threads aren’t resolved, I’m gone. If the book/novella ends on a cliff hanger, I’m gone and NEVER coming back. Having unanswered questions is acceptable, especially in a series where the reader will get a chance to find out what happened. In my Mapleton series, a secondary character was convinced there was a serial killer out after deadbeat dads. But that crime wasn’t the one the book was about solving, and continuing investigations were brought into subsequent books in the series, and then solved in a novella.

    I don’t mind finding out more and more about recurring characters as the series rolls on. What’s happening to their relationship? How is Megan’s new business venture coming along? Did the town get the new stoplight?

    • I agree, right up until the author stops publishing. This happened to me many years ago with Rick Hanson. I loved his series. Then he died. Ad I was left with unanswered questions. I think that might be why I have such a hard time with writing series. Who wants that sort of responsibility haunting you after your dead?

  2. I’m with Terry. Cliffs are (almost always) the last experience I have with an author. Evar.

    If you resolve your story and tack on a cliff hanger, it says you don’t trust your readers or your work. It’s endemic in YA where the trads seem to think it’s necessary to keep young readers engaged by this pathetic dangle.

    But – especially in series (not serial) work – unresolved strands form the foundations for subsequent books. I think that might be what keeps readers coming back to longer series, the hope that – perhaps in this book – we’ll find out Emily’s dire secret … (dun dun daaaaah)

  3. I’ve gotten lots of compliments from readers on how I resolve all loose ends by the end of a book, and positive reader feedback goes a long way toward encouraging a writer to do it again.

    On the other hand, I also have two series going right now, and readers clamoring for me to turn my latest thriller into a third series. To have a successful series one may still resolve all the loose ends of the current plot, but one must also be sure to leave the over-all arc of the series unresolved until the last book as well. Like Lord of The Rings, The Harry Potter Series, etc. I prefer a series that resolves everything in the end.

    You can always dredge up new plot lines if you ever decide to revive a concluded series (Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, for example.)

  4. I don’t mind cliff hangers as long as the main plot arc of the book is done. Like in Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series- the second book does it really well. I feel like I’ve answered immediate questions and there was clearly character growth, but I’m still looking forward to the future like the character is!

  5. I want the main issues resolved, but I kinda like when there are a character or two who I like in the book and who I find out will be in the next one more in depth to cover some of the “brief” hints of secrets or interesting stories the first book gave me. But I get tired of series that just have a lot of characters so they can have a lot of books – there has to be something to make a character worth following – but not a cliffhanger for new characters just to get you to read the next.

  6. I always wonder whether it’s about character I’m just reading or if it’s characters I’m writing. In the historical mystery I just got the contract for, Wishing Caswell Dead, I had a brilliant epilogue that answered those questions about all my characters….but my editor convinced me to cut it. At least I have all that information I can turn into a sequel if I want…

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