Time for a rant about my personal anathema as a reader, my bête noire: when you buy a novel, and get to the end to discover…it’s a bloody cliffhanger!
Or, even worse (and as seems to increasingly be the case), an incomplete novel.
I’ve noticed this in a lot of novels, especially self-published, free, first novels. After all, you need a hook to get people to fork out for the next five, don’cha?
Pah! You’re not fooling me with that technique!
For a start, WARN THE READER. If it’s incomplete or a series, I’ll avoid it or won’t knock stars off my review.
If it’s going to be a cliffhanger, resolving at least one of the major plot conflicts of an arc would help, preferably the majority of them. Start threading in parts of the next story and hooks.
Or ensure the HEA is complete for your main characters, and start introducing the characters who’ll be the focus for the next novel.
Then there’s the incomplete novel. I’ve read a few recently which just stopped. No resolution of anything, just ‘END OF BOOK ONE’.
What the actual f*ck?
I don’t care that ‘THEIR STORY IS CONTINUED IN [blah-de-blah]’, I care that you’ve just shat on the reader, big style.
It’s even worse when ‘BOOK ONE’ wouldn’t even qualify as a novel, I read a ‘Complete Series : Box Set’ the other day, consisting of three ‘books’ totalling just over 60 pages. That’s barely a novella.
So, I beg of anyone who may be reading this, please think carefully about how you end your novel, and how you describe it in the blurb. I’m aware that it’s thought of as a promotional tool to tempt a reader into buying more, but you’ll piss off more people than you’ll please, and others may be harsher than I am.