Friday, April 2, 2010

Left Dangling

There is a recent trend by a number of fantasy and horror authors to employ an insidious marketing device often utilized by television shows. It is called a cliffhanger. It is not enough that authors have caved to the siren call of big screen or TV series adaptions of their books by making them more about moving from action scene to action scene than about character development, now books are being purposefully ‘ended’ without any resolution. This is not simply a good, multi-book, stopping point, but a thinly veiled attempt to get you to purchase the next book. When I see this tactic employed, I am disinclined to continue reading anything by that author.

A good book finishes with a logical wrap-up and leaves the reader satisfied they have a complete story. If there is an overriding story arc, then that, along with other unresolved items, will move forward into the next book providing continuity. This piques my desire to continue reading the series. The cliff-hanger leaves me feeling manipulated and not at all charitable towards the author.

How do you feel about book series that do not have logical breaks? Do you feel complete once you’ve finished one of them? What is your preference?

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