My book was never meant to be a series, so I'm genuinely uncertain on what to do. I only really write completely self-contained things.
I've really been having a great time writing lately. On my latest masterpiece - book sorry - I've hit 70,000 words! Wow! It's about time the character's lives began to intercollide, and things begin to get exciting. However... I thought that by 90,000 words I would have finished my whole book. I underestimated myself.
I edit as I go through quite a lot, I've cut off a huge amount of words, and maximised my usage of language to get off even more words but... It's still just going to be so long because the story cannot be told unless it has time to develop. I can't really take off anymore words because the plot would be ruined. So... I've come to the resolve that I need to create a series! Exciting!
When is an appropriate time to cut off with my novel, and turn it into a series?
I've seen everything. I really have. Sometimes, a ship has sunk. Sometimes, the character has just smiled. Sometimes, the sexy girl has died. Sometimes, the wimp has finally died. Sometimes, the girl who dressed as a boy has been found out. Sometimes, Eragon has killed the shade.
How do you decide what kind of way to end your first book? How do you think of a way that will keep the reader reading?
I'm pretty fortunate actually to have hit this word count just as the character's lives begin to collide, but I have a few options on how I can end it. How do I pick the right one?
To be honest, Eragon killing the shade didn't make me care at all. I just didn't care. When the girl was found out I didn't care. When the little girl's dad died, I cried. When, oh my god terrible, the children got sucked into a portal... I... didn't care. How can I make a cliffhanger worthy of ending a book and not a chapter? How can I create one my reader will care about?
Does it matter if your cliffhanger doesn't carry over into the next novel? Does your cliffhanger have to have a huge impact on the next one in the series?
My English teacher told me that most novels are only 55,000 words. I seriously don't believe her because I write my novels on a size 9.5 font, and by 55,000 words I've only done about 130 pages. So, here's a bonus question:
Is 80-85,000 words a wise time to be finishing the first book in my brand new series? Because I'm a non-published author, is it futile to try and write a series as my debut into the fantasy genre?