Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 51

Thread: Ending with a sequel teaser?

  1. #1
    My name is PJ. P-Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    144

    Ending with a sequel teaser?

    I thought I'd get some opinions about ending a story not with a cliffhanger, but a teaser.

    All the main conflicts have been addressed and resolved, but there are a few minor threads that are still hanging. I was thinking of using one of them as a teaser into the sequel.

    Yay? Nay? Hard to say?

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    452
    It's not a good idea. All books should be queried as stand-alones. What if your agent doesn't like the book some time in the end and you present to him or her that teaser? "The first book was not good enough. Another one's coming up?"
    Seriously, write the first book as a stand alone. Even if you're planning to continue the story with more than one book, in each installment the characters must deal with a problem and it must be solved by the end of the book. That's part of what a story is, whether or not characters resolved their conflict or not. Next book? Next conflict.

  3. #3
    Azarath Metrion Zinthos AshleyEpidemic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Austin
    Posts
    1,454
    As long as all the plots and subplots are resolved, I don't mind if there is a tidbit that becomes a plot or subplot for the sequel. However, I would not tease it. Let it be.

    If you only get to publish it as a standalone, that teaser is pointless.
    So, I have this blog. It's here
    and a book blog
    I tweet too.

  4. #4
    My name is PJ. P-Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    144
    That's enough reason for me to leave it out.

    It was nothing major, just a single quirky sentence that could've been thrown in at the end.

    It wasn't the presumptuousness or pretence about it that made me unsure, but the gimmick factor. I usually despise these little "tricks", but for some reason, I thought it could have been fun with my story. Oh well. No harm, no foul.

    Thanks!

  5. #5
    Creepy Centipede Chasing the Horizon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    About to crawl on your keyboard
    Posts
    4,114
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristinaLayton View Post
    It's not a good idea. All books should be queried as stand-alones. What if your agent doesn't like the book some time in the end and you present to him or her that teaser? "The first book was not good enough. Another one's coming up?"
    Seriously, write the first book as a stand alone. Even if you're planning to continue the story with more than one book, in each installment the characters must deal with a problem and it must be solved by the end of the book. That's part of what a story is, whether or not characters resolved their conflict or not. Next book? Next conflict.
    I read most epic fantasy debuts from the major publishers, and the majority of them are the first installment in a series and do not stand alone in any way, shape, or form. Forget teasers. They don't even resolve the main plot. I assume these first-time authors are probably under multi-book contracts obligating them to complete the series (usually a trilogy).

    And if an agent doesn't like the book enough to want another by the end, sequel teasers are the least of your problems.

    Of course, this only applies to epic fantasy. But the "must stand alone" advice is not universal.


    March Editing Goal: 8/10 chapters


  6. #6
    Misbehaving and stuff Beachgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    At the beach. Or sleeping.
    Posts
    3,414
    I'm going to disagree with the previous posts advising against teasers. The key is to understand the difference between a teaser and a cliffhanger. I'll use the infamous example of the first book in the Harry Potter series. At the end of the book, Voldemort's plan had been thwarted by Harry. However, it was made clear that Voldemort could still come back. That is a teaser and is perfectly acceptable.

    There can be an overarching story that is left out there, as long as the main conflict within the book is resolved and the reader does not feel like they were left hanging. That's what the key words "Stand alone with series potential" means in a query. If there were never any teasers in a first book, there would never be any reason for a second book.



    BookStrand Amazon Blog Twitter AW Library

    WIP: Tangled (Shifter Sanctuary 3)

  7. #7
    writer, rider, reader...ex-pat! BethS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    In the land of cheese and chocolate
    Posts
    7,415
    Quote Originally Posted by P-Jay View Post
    I thought I'd get some opinions about ending a story not with a cliffhanger, but a teaser.

    All the main conflicts have been addressed and resolved, but there are a few minor threads that are still hanging. I was thinking of using one of them as a teaser into the sequel.

    Yay? Nay? Hard to say?
    Sounds fine to me, as long as there's going to be a sequel. I think I'd steer away from using it to tease, and simply let it dangle as a possibility. But I say that without having read the work, so for all I know, it might work just fine the way you have it.

  8. #8
    Azarath Metrion Zinthos AshleyEpidemic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Austin
    Posts
    1,454
    Quote Originally Posted by BethS View Post
    Sounds fine to me, as long as there's going to be a sequel. I think I'd steer away from using it to tease, and simply let it dangle as a possibility. But I say that without having read the work, so for all I know, it might work just fine the way you have it.
    This is pretty much what I was trying to say.

    And to add if the tease is too 'look at me, I am going to rear my nasty ugly head in such a way that I am going to make your novel feel unresolved even though it is'. Aka an unwarranted cliffhanger.

    Nothing makes me want to spoil endings more than a show stealing teaser, that makes me forget the novel.
    So, I have this blog. It's here
    and a book blog
    I tweet too.

  9. #9
    coffee and pistols at dawn KateJJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,472
    Sigh... I wrote a really lovely little scene at the end of my last book, which I'm editing now. It was short and funny and featured two minor characters who'd been sent offscreen to do things and had a nice hook for the related-but-not-directly-sequel story.

    Sadly, after actually panning and plotting said sequel, my little scene doesn't work at all. The people involved aren't actually at the right place at the right time to make it work, for one thing. Ah well.

    But put me down as a vote in favor of hinting there's more, as long as everything else is wrapped.
    Published: "The Golden Knight", B@en Fantasy @dventure winner

  10. #10
    What a desolation. Alexandra Little's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles, but my heart belongs to London
    Posts
    1,101
    As long as the main plot and subplots are resolved, it's fine to tease as to further adventures.

    Winter's Crown - a YA fantasy novel now available for purchase - Kindle US - Kindle UK - Kindle Canada

    The Obligatory Website.

    The Obligatory Twitter.

  11. #11
    The T is for Trying to Stop Lurking M.T.Logue's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    273
    In past projects, I've usually had in-world mention to other things that were going on in the universe that play no real part in the current book, but would become a major plot point later. For example, in one book in order to show the relationship between two family members, I had them talk about business, specifically the incarceration of some random. That some random would later turn out to be the main antagonist of the second book.

    It's not a teaser, because I doubt a reader would look at that and see it as a Chekov's Gun (it's also not at the end) but it is a detail that if someone were to read the series, then reread the first book, they'd pick up on and go "oooooooooooh". Those are my favourite kind of details. At the same time, if there is no sequel, it's not a loose unresolved thread, and the conversation still does something other than just hint at a future villain (it also implies that this father and daughter have a curt relationship)

  12. #12
    My name is PJ. P-Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    144
    Quote Originally Posted by BethS View Post
    Sounds fine to me, as long as there's going to be a sequel. I think I'd steer away from using it to tease, and simply let it dangle as a possibility. But I say that without having read the work, so for all I know, it might work just fine the way you have it.
    My story can really do with or without the teaser.
    I'm just debating whether or not this is "less is more" situation.
    I THINK the potential demerits are enough to stop me from adding it.

    Here's a BRIEF, brief rundown of my story and how the teaser was going to happen. (It's based on a true story... so everything including this "teaser" actually happened.)

    1. MC is the perfect honor roll student, university, awards, career, etc.

    2. Dates a desirable girl he's been chasing for years. Gets involved in the wrong crowd. Drug dealing, partying, all that fun stuff. Distances himself from his girlfriend, bad blood with his best friend. Girlfriend cheats on MC. MC loses his friends.

    3. New friend forces him to a weekend in Vegas to take the edge off. MC sleeps with Girl. MC and Girl connect, trade stories. Girl encourages MC to get his stuff sorted out at home.

    4. Get home. Sort things out with Girlfriend, Best Friend, other friends. Forgives girlfriend, gets back together.

    5. Climax

    6. Falling action/resolution/conclusion.

    7. (Teaser?) Just as MC starts to get things under control, Girl from Vegas text messages MC. "I'm pregnant."
    That is a very poor and vague summary, but it's just an idea of what the teaser was about. There's a LOT more to the story that I left out. I swear, the real writing isn't that bad!

  13. #13
    Azarath Metrion Zinthos AshleyEpidemic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Austin
    Posts
    1,454
    Quote Originally Posted by P-Jay View Post
    My story can really do with or without the teaser.
    I'm just debating whether or not this is "less is more" situation.
    I THINK the potential demerits are enough to stop me from adding it.

    Here's a BRIEF, brief rundown of my story and how the teaser was going to happen. (It's based on a true story... so everything including this "teaser" actually happened.)



    That is a very poor and vague summary, but it's just an idea of what the teaser was about. There's a LOT more to the story that I left out. I swear, the real writing isn't that bad!
    To me personally, just my opinion, I think (how many times can I indicate this is a sole individual's thought) you can do without that teaser.

    Whether Vegas girl sends her text now, or at the beginning of the sequel, the reader will likely have the girl in the back of their minds. Finding out she is pregnant, makes the novel ending less tidy, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think you need to ask yourself what you want a reader coming away with at the end. The reactions will be slightly different depending on what you choose to do.

    Not saying it couldn't work, but it feels like it could be a good starting point for the next novel.
    So, I have this blog. It's here
    and a book blog
    I tweet too.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW rwm4768's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    13,288
    I kind of like that teaser actually. Of course, I read a lot of series (fantasy and science fiction mostly), so I'm used to teasers.

    Also, I don't see any problem with including it. If your agent or publisher doesn't like it, it's not like it's hard to cut out the last sentence of the book.

  15. #15
    Unfold your own myth. - Rumi Papaya's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    668
    I agree that a book should tell a complete story and there should be a satisfactory conclusion, but that doesn't mean you can't set up a hook for your next installment. And if you can craft a series as good as Phillip Pullman's, His Dark Materials, which happens to be my favorite series of all time, you can end on a cliffhanger, and I will be begging for the next installment.

    I am in the midst of revising book 1 in an epic fantasy series. The book tells a complete story from start to finish, but I also wrote a short epilogue, (727 words), from the antagonist's point of view, which confirms information the body of the book only hinted at. The epilogue is not a direct tease, but it does provide a set up for book 2. The way I look at it, people who want more when they reach the end of the chapters will read the epilogue and know there is more to come...and those that can't be bothered won't feel teased.

    Based on the outline you provided, ending with the "I'm pregnant" text actually sounds more interesting than the mundane, everything works out perfectly in the end, one. Maybe I'm just cynical, but it seems to me that real life mistakes rarely work out without a lot of consequences, and trying to change course, especially after heading down the wrong path, often comes with a lot of bumps along the way.

  16. #16
    figuring it all out
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma, USA
    Posts
    79
    I would be okay with that, but I ended a screenplay like that once, so I'm probably biased.

  17. #17
    My name is PJ. P-Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    144
    A lot of good points here. Thanks, everyone!
    Reps added!

    Quote Originally Posted by rwm4768 View Post
    If your agent or publisher doesn't like it, it's not like it's hard to cut out the last sentence of the book.
    Very true..

  18. #18
    Misbehaving and stuff Beachgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    At the beach. Or sleeping.
    Posts
    3,414
    Quote Originally Posted by P-Jay View Post
    My story can really do with or without the teaser.
    I'm just debating whether or not this is "less is more" situation.
    I THINK the potential demerits are enough to stop me from adding it.

    Here's a BRIEF, brief rundown of my story and how the teaser was going to happen. (It's based on a true story... so everything including this "teaser" actually happened.)



    That is a very poor and vague summary, but it's just an idea of what the teaser was about. There's a LOT more to the story that I left out. I swear, the real writing isn't that bad!
    Okay, there are teasers and then there's WTF-ery. If I were reading a novel and got to the end and the "I'm pregnant" card was played, I'd be saying "what the hell?!?" Then I'd be flipping through the back pages wondering where the hell the rest of the story is. Then I'd throw the book across the room and swear to NEVER buy the sequel, for fear it would end with a similar WTF revelation.

    JMO, but "I'm pregnant" would be more well-received at the beginning of the second novel.



    BookStrand Amazon Blog Twitter AW Library

    WIP: Tangled (Shifter Sanctuary 3)

  19. #19
    I aim to misbehave Myrealana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    2,725
    I say go for it. If the main plot and major sub-plot are tied up, and it feels right to you, then write it that way.

    If your agent or editor gets that far, and they like everything except the sequel teaser, it's not going to poison them against your work. They'll just ask you to change it.

    My first book ends with a sequel teaser. The main plot and major sub plots are tied up, and the MC is basically in a situation where she thinks "all this weirdness with the supernatural is over and I can just get on with my life." Then something happens to show that weirdness is her new normal.
    -- Myrea

    "When it comes down to it itís always, always you and the white page. At the end of the day if the page is blank, itís won.
    Donít let the page win."
    Alasdair Stewart

  20. #20
    My name is PJ. P-Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    144
    So far there are nay-sayers and yay-sayers. Interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Papaya View Post
    Based on the outline you provided, ending with the "I'm pregnant" text actually sounds more interesting than the mundane, everything works out perfectly in the end, one. Maybe I'm just cynical, but it seems to me that real life mistakes rarely work out without a lot of consequences, and trying to change course, especially after heading down the wrong path, often comes with a lot of bumps along the way.
    This is what I was thinking too. I'm just worried that it might dampen the main conflict.

    The reactions will be completely different.

    Without teaser: He made a mistake and now he's made his peace.

    With teaser: He has everything under control now... Wait, what?

  21. #21
    Superpowers: Making babies, writing MeganJoWrites's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    189

    Smile

    A pregnant teaser?

    I'd rage and curse you and maybe throw my Kindle across the room.

    But if your book was well-written, I'd read the next one.

    Oh, and your siggy cracks me up every single time you post and I read about you convincing your girlfriend to dress up as Katniss Everdeen.
    NA contemporary romance coming June 2014 from William Morrow/Harper Collins

    Website/blog: meganerickson.org

  22. #22
    My name is PJ. P-Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    144
    Quote Originally Posted by MeganJoWrites View Post
    A pregnant teaser?

    I'd rage and curse you and maybe throw my Kindle across the room.
    Maybe I should make an insider deal with Kindle to get a percentage of every replacement sold due to the last sentence of my book.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeganJoWrites View Post
    Oh, and your siggy cracks me up every single time you post and I read about you convincing your girlfriend to dress up as Katniss Everdeen.
    A man can dream.

    P.S.
    Congrats on the full request

  23. #23
    practical experience, FTW srgalactica's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Near Los Angeles
    Posts
    468
    Quote Originally Posted by MeganJoWrites View Post
    A pregnant teaser?

    I'd rage and curse you and maybe throw my Kindle across the room.

    But if your book was well-written, I'd read the next one.

    Oh, and your siggy cracks me up every single time you post and I read about you convincing your girlfriend to dress up as Katniss Everdeen.
    I'd be a little miffed, but like MeganJoWrites, if I liked your book I would read the next.

    Your siggy cracks me up too. I cosplay when I go to Comic Book conventions (actually I do the whole booth-girl thing for my boyfriend) to help the BF promote the book he's self-pubbing.



  24. #24
    A Gentleman of a refined age... thothguard51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Out side the beltway...
    Posts
    9,265
    7. (Teaser?) Just as MC starts to get things under control, Girl from Vegas text messages MC. "I'm pregnant."
    I don't feel this is a teaser, its a crisis and unresolved issue...

    MC is just starting to get things under control and a new bomb shell is dropped. He is back with his cheating GF so he must obviously love her, or thinks he does. But that single text message is going to throw his future into turmoil so there is no resolution to his crisis in this book...

    I would just start the new book off after he returns and a month or so later when he is feeling really good about his future, he gets the text message. Now he has a whole new set of conflicts to resolve before his future spends out of control, again...
    Knowledge is learned while wisdom is earned.

    Currently working on...

    From, The Tales of Netherron,
    Book 1, A Game of Pawns
    Book 2, Pawn takes Queen,
    Book 3, Pawn's Gambit,

    In the pipeline,
    Children of Netherron, follow up trilogy
    Guardians of Netherron, prequel trilogy

    http://nickanthony51.wordpress.com (on hiatus)

    Nick Anthony

  25. #25
    My name is PJ. P-Jay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    144
    I do realize the cliche cheesiness of a pregnant teaser.

    But then again, it really is only 1 sentence at the end of the book that can easily be deleted.

    Logically speaking... I should keep it in...
    But in the bigger picture, that might dampen the main conflict.

    Ahhhh

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search