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Saturday, October 29, 2022

Should Authors Write Cliffhangers in a Series?

    I learned over the years that writing cliffhangers in a series can be risky, and it’s especially risky if an author’s series is more than three books. Readers want closure, and authors must wrap things up in three books or less when incorporating a cliffhanger to a story in my opinion. Ideally, each book in a series should be able to stand on its own―meaning that the plot should have some sort of resolution in the end, and each book could be read out of sequence and still make sense to the average reader.

    If a particular book is well-written, the author will be able to get away with the first book of the series being a cliffhanger. My most popular series, The Chronicles of Brock Lane, is a three-part tale about the trials and tribulations of a professional basketball player, and the first two installments leave the reader hanging. I was able to keep the bulk of the readers in suspense without pissing them off to the point that they refused to buy the next book in the series. Sure, I received some bad reviews from a few angry customers, but in spite of that, the majority of my audience still enjoyed reading this story. I’ve learned over the years that it’s better to resolve conflict in one novel and move on to the next plot in future series that I plan on writing.

    In closing, writing cliffhangers in a series can be successful if the author is able the captivate his or her audience from the beginning to the end of the story. However, if an author plans on writing a series of more than three books, each installment must be a stand-alone novel within the series. If this feat isn’t accomplished, the author will run the risk of losing the audience for good.

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Sunday, October 16, 2022

How Authors Can Add a Backstory in Book Without Losing the Interest of the Reader

    The intricate details of a character are important, but are they important enough to write a backstory about them? It depends. I wouldn’t include a backstory in my writing just to fill in space―there has to be a purpose for it, and it must be strategically placed in the story in order to create conflict or answer a lingering question. A writer must find the happy medium because on one hand he or she doesn’t want to cheat the audience by revealing too little and robbing them of all the important elements of a story nor bore them to the point of letting too much out the bag and destroying the plot.

Sexy Woman

    For example, I included the backstory of one of the main characters, Ashley Johnson, in Vanished toward the end of the book. I left the readers hanging on why Ashley staged her own disappearance and carefully crafted her backstory so that the protagonist, Darius Carter, as well as the reader found out the reason why in the second to the last chapter of the book. Fortunately for me, this technique worked as I was able to capture the audience long enough to reveal my secret at the end of the story. In general, I tell the backstory early on as a way for readers to sympathize or bond with the character in some form or fashion, and in doing this, I only reveal just enough in order to allow the audience to fill in the blanks.

    Incorporating a backstory enriches the plot and give the readers the full experience of the novel. When it’s done properly, the rewards are immeasurable as the author’s success hinges on finding that balance and captivating their audience.

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     I can remember how excited I was like it were yesterday when my first book titled What Happened to Little League Baseball in the Inner ...