Happily is out now! And the Blog Tour is on. I’m super excited to host today’s stop for Happily by Chauncey Rogers. Chauncey has also provided a guest post for today’s stop. Please enjoy.
If the shoe fits, wear it.
If it doesn’t, make it.
Laure has spent the past year on the streets. She’s dirty, hungry, poor, and very unhappy about it. All she wants is enough money to get away–away from the filthy streets, away from the gleaming castle on the hill, away from everything she knows.
But then she hears the king’s proclamation: a mysterious girl disappeared from the royal ball, leaving behind a glass slipper. The first girl to fit into the shoe will be the prince’s bride.
Some see an enchanting love story. Laure sees the nobility’s incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. With a change in luck, a clever plan, and an unlikely accomplice, Laure might just be able to hoodwink the royal family and con her way into the palace.
The unexpected adventure that follows catches Laure in problems much bigger than she could have imagined. But without a fairy godmother of her own, Laure will have to think, feel, and fight her own way out of the mess she made and into the happily ever after of her dreams. (Amazon)
I adored this story. You can read my 4.5/5 espresso shot review of Happily here.
…Ever After – Thoughts on Writing Sequels and Series by Chauncey Rogers
Thank you so much for hosting today, Nina!
Today we’re talking about sequels. I’m not talking about a sequel to Happily, but about sequels in general.
Of course, I ought to admit that I have never before written a sequel, so this will be partially speculation as I have no personal experience. But I do have thoughts and opinions on writing sequels (and related issues), and I’ll share some of those.
Let’s start with an opinion, shall we?
Cliffhangers. Often, books with a sequel end in a cliffhanger. How do I feel about this? It depends. If it’s the second, third, fourth, etc. book in a series, and you want to end with a cliffhanger, fine. Go for it. By that point, your readers have already demonstrated that they’re interested in your characters and their problems. They’re probably in for the long haul, so go ahead and tease them a little bit at the end of the book, but do it tastefully.
But please don’t end your first book in a cliffhanger. Some readers are just wanting to finish the story. They’re not loving it. They’re perhaps enjoying it, but they aren’t enthralled. Give them an ending! It doesn’t have to be super neat and tidy, but it should have a solid conclusion. That way they can set it aside and move on with their lives.
Again, just my opinion. But c’mon. Finish the story.
My other thought ties in with the last one. If you’re planning a series, that’s great! Go for it! I think many people dream of writing epic volume-spanning stories. Why? Because it’s super cool, obviously.
But maybe don’t count your chickens before they hatch? Make your first book a complete entity that stands on its own. And don’t paste in bold across the book cover, “Book 1 of the Killing Fields of Shalereign Series.” Because what if book two never comes? It’s kind of sad, but it happens.
I think that the real trick is to write the first book in such a way that things feel all closed up, even if they actually are not. You want your reader to end satisfied, and then, if they’re interested in reading the sequel, show them that there was more to the story, even if they hadn’t realized it.
It’s certainly much easier said than done, but that’s the goal to keep in mind.
The other thing to note is to plan ahead. I don’t know if people ever write series by the seat of their pants. Some perhaps do, but I don’t think that’s a great idea. I would say that you don’t need to have the entire series plotted out in detail, but you definitely want to have an idea of where the series will go (if it does turn into a series).
Once you’re into writing the second installment, it’s probably time to start making definite plans for the rest of the series. You’ll end up with much more satisfying story archs if you put the time in during the planning.
Or, that’s what I think, at least.
I suppose we’ll find out together whether or not I’m right. 😉
What do you think? Do you enjoy cliffhanger endings? Have you ever been saddened by a “series” that ended after the first or second book, before it actually ran its full course? Do you think that winkie face at the end of this post is a subtle hint? (It isn’t—or, it isn’t a subtle one. Be sure and check out today’s other post as well.)
About the Author
Chauncey Rogers was born in Arizona, and since then has hopped back and forth between the mid-western and western United States. He married in 2012 while attending school in Utah. His favorite movie since he was three is Jurassic Park, and he wishes very badly that Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster were real, though he doesn’t believe in them as much as he used to.
You can follow him on his blog: Chauncey Rogers to see what else he has been up to.
Day 6 of 13 of Happily’s Release Blog Tour. See the full schedule here: