1. TheTravelersSeries
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    TheTravelersSeries New Member

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    Help me pick an ending

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TheTravelersSeries, Aug 7, 2011.

    I am writing my first novel, that is actually a series of 3 books. I'm already thinking ahead for the ending of the 3rd book. So I need everybody's opinion. Would you rather read a book series that contains 3 books and have 2 of the main characters die at the end of book 3, but have a chance for a 4th book (I got some ideas for a 4th book but theres no guarantee there will be 1), OR, have everyone live and no 4th book.

    Without going into details, if you choose option 1, the 2 main characters die, please note, the ending will still be a happy ending. I will give you a HUGE clue. It involves "time traveling". Also for more detailed what Im asking for, see post 5.

    Here is the summary to "help":
    The Travelers Series is a 3 part book series about a young man name Farron who travels to the past to the year 1540 and finds himself reliving his past life. He meets other "Travelers" and embarks on a journey filled with fantasy, magic, love, friendship, death and darkness, to find a way to get back to the year 2011 and correct a mistake that happened over 400 years ago.
     
  2. Mikeyface
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    Mikeyface Member

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    Holy wow, this is so vague and conspicuously weird that I have to ask-- are you serious?

    Asking for people to cast votes in a democratic process for the third book before the first has even begun being written?

    Ah screw it, I'm voting for killing 'em!
     
  3. TheTravelersSeries
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    TheTravelersSeries New Member

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    LOL. I have already begun writing book 1. In fact the first 3 chapters are already published on this 1 website where I have been writing. And yes, I am serious. This isn't some hobby of mine where Im just writing for the fun of it. I'm studying to be a game designer, and have plans to open my own gaming studio and these books are actually going to be my 1st 3 games that are going to be RPG's. I decided to write the books first to make the designing process little easier on me and for people to read also, if they dont play video games. Or even if they do, they can compare the books to the games, just like people compare books to movies. :)

     
  4. bumblebot
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    bumblebot Senior Member

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    I don't know how anyone can really vote without reading any of it.
     
  5. TheTravelersSeries
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    TheTravelersSeries New Member

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    Dont have to read it to give an opinion what you would rather read. Take your fav book series or any book series. Would you rather for the series to continue with 2 of the main characters killed off, but (not giving away details) they are back in the 4th book and at the very tale end of the 3rd book, or just have 1 big happy ending? Dont know if you like Harry Potter or not, but take that as an example. Would you rather have the author kill off Harry, Ron or Hermonie, or see all 3 live? Everyone has an opinion on how a series should go. But what Im basically asking, would you rather read the last book from a series and be completely stunned and be like what the?? what just happened? I cant believe that just happened! And be shocked that 2 of the main characters are now dead. Or a classic story where theres a happy ending, and everything is all golden.

     
  6. Pythonforger
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    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    .... I need to read the series before deciding. Unless your book is Harry Potter, which it is not.

    Write all three books, publish them, and then we'll talk.
     
  7. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do the characters have a reason to die? The ending should be a relevant conclusion to the story - it's something you should spend the novel writing up to and preparing for.

    Last week I finished an 185k first draft I'd been working on for eight months: I'd been dropping subtle facts that would come in handy for the climax and ending of my novel as early as Chapter 3 of 50.
     
  8. theweatherman
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    theweatherman Member

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    I think you are getting far too ahead of yourself here. If you have not even published one novel, why should you be focused on the third one of a series you plan in making out of it? Right now, you should be working on the writing, characters, and plot of your first novel. Seriously, I don't want to be harsh, I hope it turns out well. You are just way way too ahead of yourself here. Good luck!
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Your novel, you decide!

    By the way, don't plan on a series. You haven't sold a single novel yet, and publishers cringe when they see a mention of a series from a novice. a first novel MUST stand on its own, even if you have sequels in mind. Even if a publisher likes your first novel enough to make an offer, they have no way of knowing if you can follow up with sequels that are good for anything but lighting the fireplace, assuming you even complete a second volume.

    So forget series, and put all your effort into one stand alone novel.

    And to accomplish even that one novel, you will need to learn to make your own decisions and live with them.
     
  10. The_NeverPen
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    The_NeverPen Member

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    If any of the characters are clowns or car salesmen, I would like to see them die. Since most characters remind me of clowns or car salesmen in some way, I'm usually disappointed when everyone in a series survives.
     
  11. proserpine
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    proserpine Member

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    Choose whatever works with your actual plot, don't force the plot around an event that might be unnatural.

    Personally, I would prefer to read one, great stand-alone book than a story that is divided into several books. You really run the risk of having, say, three books that are 33% well-written instead of one that is 100% well-written.
     
  12. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    This isn't very logical, since every book is different...in one book, having my favorite characters die at the end of a book might work, but in another it would piss me off...

    Totally agree with all of this. Especially the bit about not planning on a series. Whether this is a hobby or a serious career path for you, I would still start with one book and work from there.
     
  13. Daydream
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    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeh don't plan a series. Write something and see how it goes, then you can always continue :)
     
  14. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^Exactly. If you get a book published, there's nothing stopping you from writing a sequel. However, if that first book can't stand alone, that's a pretty big weakness...
     
  15. joanna
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    joanna Active Member

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    I can't imagine what I would prefer. I might as well ask the community if they prefer that I drink coffee or I drink tea in the morning. Nobody knows my tastes or what I should do better than I do. You know your story best. I'd suggest asking your characters; they might know, too.

    And just in case it hasn't been said to death, focus on your first story.
     
  16. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I usually go for characters dying. It feels a lot more real than having everyone live, which just seems like a copout in some books I've read.
     
  17. Raki
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    Raki Contributing Member

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    As others have said, I'll just repeat that you should do what you feel best. If you feel that the ending will be better and more dramatic if you kill them, then kill them. If you think the story will be better served by keeping them alive, then do that. I think someone suggested to ask your characters, too. I don't know about your characters, but I do know if I asked mine if they wanted to die or live at the end of the book, they'd all scream, "live!" So that may not be the best method :p

    Also, there is nothing wrong with planning a series. If that's your ambition, then I say go for it. I would recommend to put all your efforts into that first book first though, make it standalone, and once it's out the door and published, put all your efforts into the second book and so on. A lot of the times, simple questions like these change in the actual writing. You may have planned for an event to go right, but when you sit down and write it, you may find that it serves both you and the story better for the event to go left (in which case, you may find that you need to kill off both of the characters in question before you even reach book 3 and in turn, have wasted all of our time asking us which paddle to use when you don't even have a boat). Also, as previously stated, it is more difficult to sell a series than a single book, especially for a novice, as Cogito said. But it sounds as if you are self-publishing the books on the web? If so, that won't be much of a concern, I think.
     
  18. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    I don't believe in picking/voting on someone's ending or any part of their writing at that. The ending is supposed to be the big surprise the writer provides the reader. If your peers are those who pick the ending, then your story is just that...ruined. I wouldn't rely on anyone to pick your ending for you. Do it yourself. Surprise us. Don't create a spoiler.
     
  19. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    I had the same problem with Dragon - even put up a post somewhere on here about the best ending. But at that time the novel was over ninety percent written, so it really was just about how to end it. In essence, and there was no sequel planned, I had a happy ending (Hero lives, big parade etc - but I thought it was simply too much having saved the universe and his family. I actually felt nauseas when I wrote it.) Then I had the sad ending (Hero dies, but its really a victory since he's achieved all of his goals and the universe and his family will go on etc - glorious victory. But when I wrote it I found I liked my MC too much to have him die off.) Then I had what I called the limbo ending (Hero reaches the end of his quest at death's door, might live, might die but all goals achieved and the hero's journey is complete. I liked this but had the horrible thought that I might leave the reader hanging, uncertain and unhappy with me.)

    Anyway, to cut a long story short, I chose an ending. But the important thing from your perspective is that I chose it after having actually reached the end of writing the book, and then after writing all three endings.

    You're still at the very beginning stages of your book, its probably too soon to worry about how its going to end. My advice, keep writing it, live with it, engross yourself in the work, and worry about the ending when you're closer to it. Then if you still can't decide, write all the possible endings out, see how they feel, and come back for more advice if you're still in need.

    Cheers.
     

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