So, a new conundrum cropped up in my mind as I read through King Arthur's post about writing a series all in one go- am I writing mine with enough closure to be considered stand alones? (I'm also looking at a trilogy, and though probably not of quite such epic proportions, probably each around 100k). But where I'd thought to end the first story now seems not such a good point for the reader. Each of the three books deals with two main characters, members of a family that was split/dispersed in the wake of a political disaster. The first is about two of the children who escape together, the brother trying to make an almost normal life for his sister and himself. The sister, partly because of him and others, partly herself, manages to succeed more or less- but the brother, not so much; he's forever trying to figure out his identity and purpose in life (along with trying to find family again). In the end, he doesn't find them, but thinks he's got the purpose part when he sees how his death can save someone else, and resolves/resigns himself to it. So, he goes on the suicidal mission, gets captured, and fully expects to die. When his comrades recover him, they think he's dead. His enemies think he's dead. The reader is supposed to think he's dead. But... The story's not over, as the different members of the family do start finding each other, (including him)- in the second and third book. So, as a reader, how disappointed would you be if I ended the first book with him as good as dead? Or you'd just learned that he'd survived? It sounds pretty unsatisfactory that way, though the point is that he finally reaches that point of resignation- then he can find his family and purpose. Thanks for your thoughts!