So, if you have Book 1 where the characters come to terms with their mission and accept it, and then Book 2 they embark on their mission - many people on the forum will say, "Well, Book 1 is just a back story then!" But so I'm wondering, what makes a series then? Surely a series is meant to show the build up, as in the above example? It seems to me that anything other than the absolute final book in any "series" should then be considered as mere "back story". For example, what about Hunger Games? Surely Books 1 and 2 are just "back stories" seeing as the rebellion is the point of the whole trilogy anyway, so Collins should've just started with Book 3. As for LOTR - ok note, I've only watched the films - but as far as the breaks go, there's no "resolution" at the end of each part until Part 3. So that might explain what a "series" (or I guess, trilogy) is - but you're not meant to ever write a book with a cliff-hanger and no resolution.... So how can a writer ever write a series? (since the consensus is unless you're mega famous, no publisher will want a series from you) And what's the difference between the preceding books within a series before the final climax and a back story?