Questions 3: Coming to the End of an Adventure

An event happened this week.  The last of a trilogy came out and the story has been closed.

First, a congratulations to Jack Flacco for this milestone.  I’m sure it’s bittersweet, which is what prompted me to do these questions.  So answer them here, on your blog, or silently contemplate them while listening to the soothing sounds of AC/DC.

  1. As a reader or author, how does it feel to get to the end of a book or series?
  2. Is there a book or series that you enjoy reading over again?
  3. What do you think is the key to writing a story that people will return to even after they’re done?

Personal note: I’ll admit to being both excited and scared about reaching the end of Legends of Windemere.  Been with it since 1998 and it feels strange that I’m actually heading to a point where all of the books are written.  Then I have to start all over again with a new cast of characters.  It’ll still be in Windemere, but Clyde and the Dawnfangs will be different than Luke Callindor and the champions.  Just no way around that.  Anyway, have fun with the questions and check out Jack’s book.  Don’t forget that you can tweet, share, and Pin books from their Amazon sites.  🙂

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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46 Responses to Questions 3: Coming to the End of an Adventure

  1. These are hard ones today. I’ve never written a series, but I’ve read a few. I’m usually looking forward to the end. My attention span wants fresh material. I haven’t re-read something for over thirty years. It’s that attention span thing. I think the key will be different for everyone. For me it’s the characters, but an author has to nail down everything in a series. The setting should be intriguing and vivid. The science/magic should be interesting. The stakes have to be high, etc.

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  2. Pearseus: Endgame is coming along slower than expected. I suspect part of the reason is my unconscious reluctance to let go 🙂

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  3. As a reader or author, how does it feel to get to the end of a book or series? I finished the John Cannon Trilogy and felt a little let down. I wanted to do more but couldn’t build from where it ended.
    Is there a book or series that you enjoy reading over again? I loved the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.
    What do you think is the key to writing a story that people will return to even after they’re done? Has to be the characters. The characters need to resonate with the reader and become familiar and like friends.

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  4. Jack Flacco says:

    Thanks so much for the plug. You’re awesome, Charles! It’s been quite a whirlwind this week. With the final book out, I thought I’d get a chance to breathe. But now I’m staring at the backlog of ideas I set aside to get this series done. It’s going to be an eventful year, for sure!

    I guess to answer your questions:

    1. The end of the book series is bittersweet for me. I’m glad it’s done and not taking up every waking moment in my life, but at the same time, I’ll miss my characters. They were my outlet to talk about social issues and human nature. I’m sure, though, the characters I’m working on next will make their opinions known to me soon enough.

    2. I haven’t read that many book series, so I can’t comment. I love single-title books, though. Strange, I know.

    3. As for the story a reader would return to–to me? I think it all has to do with writing relatable characters with believable dialog, which the reader can then say, “I know that guy!”

    Anyway, thanks again, Charles!

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    • You can still take some time to revel in the finale. Sure the first week is the most chaotic though. Congrats on the rankings I saw you mention on Facebook.

      1. Great point about the characters and being an outlet for the author’s thoughts on such things. I think this happens more often than we realize, so the series/story ending kind of closes off that outlet.

      2. I’m seeing more people lean toward single-title books lately.

      3. Like revisiting an old friend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sknicholls says:

    I’ve read Anne Rice’s Mayfair Legacy trilogy at least three times, and each time, I notice or learn new things…or maybe I had just forgotten. I don’t read many series, but I will if the writing moves me.

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  6. Karen says:

    As you were inspired by Jack Flacco and his Ranger Martin series, Charles… 🙂
    I love this trilogy. I am going to miss Ranger; Jack created a reality that included me as the reader. You may have an inkling that I am a fanatic reader and – you’re right! If I love a book or a series, I will reread; not once, not twice – definitely more often. Why do I reread? Because the writer was a part of the story, breathed the story, lived the story, wrote it.
    I only wrote a flash fiction series – it is up to you to decide if this counts. I was sad when feeling that the story was coming to a close; I was happy that I made it, happy that I had a wonderful guest star: Lisa Burton! If you ask me how often I have read Wild Concept by C. S. Boyack…my answer will be ‘three times’ (within a year).
    Typical rereads are also these series: Legends of Windemere (what I have read so far definitely applies) and Harry Potter as well as innumerable crime fiction series.

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    • Very cool. A goal of fiction should be to draw the reader into the story. At least to me, that makes the adventure feel more real. For some reason, I’m thinking of how we may go to the same attractions (zoos, museums, etc.) time and again. I would say flash fiction counts. 🙂

      Do you need a certain amount of time before doing a reread? Like once a year or every few years? I really need to get into Legends of Windemere. Had a tiff with the author back in high school. 😛

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      • Karen says:

        Thank you for your kind words about flash fiction series, Charles. 🙂
        I am a spontaneous re-reader. Even at the age of five, I remembered a line from a book, jumped up, ran to the respective rack, got the book out and – started reading.
        In case of a series, there might be a year before I start again. The second time around, I notice additional stuff, etc. Same applies to the following re-reads. 😀

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      • My son is big into re-reading stuff. At 6, it’s hard to get him to switch to something else. Though we’re starting to get him into a variety.

        It’s fun finding new things in an old book. 🙂

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  7. 1. As an author, hasn’t happened yet so can’t comment. As a reader — it’s just absolutely devastating to finish a series for the first time, because although I can always re-read it, the magic of that first read-through can never be replicated (at least, not without sustaining a serious head injury).
    2. If I love a series, I will re-read it many, many times. And I love a lot of series. Pretty much anything on my bookshelf I’ve read at least two or three times. At the very least.
    3. For me, the key is creating a world and characters that are just so fascinating that you can’t stop thinking about them. When I fall in love with a series, I fall hard — to the point that I start reading fanfiction, browsing fan art, chatting on fan forums, etc. I become that creepy stalker who follows the series around and tries to take naked pictures of it through the window. Maybe it’s not super healthy to be that obsessed with books, but I just can’t help it!

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    • 1. Excellent point on that initial magic. This gets even more complicated if the series hasn’t been entirely published. Many people read what is out and then start from the beginning when the new one comes out. A few series have caused that habit to be a headache.

      2. What book have you read the most?

      3. I’ve been there. You try to imagine yourself in the world and how you’d handle the same adventures.

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      • Oh, Harry Potter, 100%. Remember that I grew up with the series, so I would re-read the books every time a new one came out, plus re-read them whenever I was in the mood, plus re-read them when a new movie came out … I’ve probably only read the series the entire way through 5-6 times, but I bet you’ve I’ve read books 1-5 at least a dozen times each. HP is my jam.

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      • I think for my generation of fantasy readers, it was the ‘Wheel of Time’ series. I never got into it, but that was the big one that seemed to break a few people. Guess you’re looking forward to the new Potter stuff.

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      • Well … sort of. The Fantastic Beasts movie, YES. The play … two problems. 1) I don’t live in England, so I won’t exactly be able to see it. 2) It’s a sequel, with grown up Harry, and it sounds like grown up Harry is stressed out and overworked, and I like to think he flies off into the sunset with Ginny and lives happily ever after. So I’m not sure I want to burst that imaginary bubble by actually finding out what happens to him, lol. And I did actually read the Wheel of Time series — some of it, anyway. It got into a pattern around book 5 or 6 of nothing actually happening, plot-wise, and I got bored and stopped reading.

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      • I can see how that play (which I never knew about) worries you. Nothing can take the shine off a hero to learn he finishes his adventures, marries the girl, and ends his life with a 9-to-5 job. Reward for killing Voldemort? The cubicle closest to the bathroom and an extra two days of vacation.

        I heard the middle had issues, but it got better near the end. Wonder if Robert Jordan’s ailment was a factor.

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