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TIMELESS Book Cover

Ending A Series ~ Part 1: Practicalities

The thing is, Gentle Reader, I've never ended a series before. I've ended plenty of stories, somewhere in the vicinity of ten novels, and two masters thesis, but Timeless will be the first time I've ever completed an entire run of books.


As it came time to finish Timeless, I realized I had no idea how to do this. So I did what any good scientist would do, gathered data, and researched how other people did it. Most of my favorite books are fantasies and space operas from the 1980s and 90s. Thank goodness these have endings. I can't draw on urban fantasy because, while many of them are in series form, few have actually bothered to end yet. And there aren't a lot of comedic books in self-contained series, so fantasy would have to be my model.


Nevertheless, from what I could tell, regardless of fantasy, sci-fi, comedic, or alternate history, there seems to be two acceptable ways to end a series.

1. Romantically. Even if the books aren't really romantic. This can be a reunion of long lost lovers, or a marriage of two we've been following all along, or simply an intimate moment between wife and husband after a long slog through many pages.

2. A Cute Moment of Character. By this I mean a character being, doing, or saying something pithy and totally within personality designed to leave the reader with a friendly feeling and a smile on her face.

There is also the standard high fantasy poetical ending, but I didn't really count this as I only found one or two stand alone novels that went with that approach. And really, can you imagine what a poetical ending for my books might be?

And Alexia stood in the doorway of doom,
while her husband got naked by the light of the moon,
and Lord Akeldama pretended to swoon,
and Ivy put on a hat like a spoon.


The End

Or something.

I bet you all want to know which approach I went with. Well I did spend some time considering the matter. I was inclined to go with neither. But would readers feel somehow betrayed by this? Is there an expectation of either option A or B? That is the question. In the end (pun intended) it happened quite naturally and I am really rather pleased with the final note of the book.

Well my dear Gentle Reader, when it comes time for you to read Timeless, I am in no doubt that you all will tell me exactly how you feel about my decision.

Sf Signal's MIND MELD on The Best Endings In SF/F Series

GAIL'S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .


Your Writerly Tinctures . . .


PROJECT ROUND UP
Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Working rough draft.
Back to struggling, it's my process.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ The Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 2013. In production. Have seen initial cover mock-up and it is stunning!

Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 1: Printed volume releases March 1. Have seen cover sketch for Soulless Vol. 2 (AKA Changeless) and it is beyond fabulous!

Timeless ~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last, official release March 1. Some stores have already shipped.

Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date fall 2013. She's started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!



Book News:
Timeless gets its first review. And quick on its heels comes the second.

Quote of the Day:
"And so the soldier: hung up his sword;
The hands that had hewn: turned to heal.
The loves she had lost: became different loves,
And the Martlet made: his mansion in the eaves.
The wolf-cub waited: by the wall of the house
And the people of the sea: sang them to sleep."

~ Mary Brown

Daisypath Graduation tickers

Comments

Well my dear Gentle Reader, when it comes time for you to read Timeless, I am in no doubt that you all will tell me exactly how you feel about my decision.

You know I will. But with kindness and care, as befits my reviews. You know my style by now, I think.
If it came natural, then that's the only ending that could have worked. ;)

(Though I'm a little sad the poem didn't make it - spoon hats to accompany the spoon corset! ;P)
It's still be quite an adventure, nonetheless.

In related news, my local B&N has already put the 'Soulless Vol.I' manga on their shelves. I didn't think this was kosher, so I resisted the urge to buy it ...

Although I did skim through it. There's an extra color page of Alexia's appearance in the library (two pages of the same). Just a printing error, so it may end up being a collector's item. ;)
Aw man, I was quite liking the little poem with the spoon-hat.

I'm all at once looking forward to Timeless (since I discovered the books in November 2010), but I'm also a bit sad that the series is ending. I've had the problem with many series I've read - at the end I feel sad that I'm leaving the characters behind.

As long as I feel like that at the end of the book, it's a good ending. :)
I was naughty. I read the last chapter of Timeless THEN went back and started from the beginning. I think your ending was perfect. No spoilers from me. I am loving it! Ancient Egypt has always been a soft spot for me...thanks for keeping my love burning for that sandy country!
(On the DL? I do that all the time with books!)
LOL (it does make them more enjoyable, doesn't it?)
As one of the lucky few to find an early copy, and having finished it on Monday, I loved the end. I loved everything about the book. I loved that two characters I'd been shipping got together in the most adorable and romantic way possible. As I said on my journal and to my coworkers who were awaiting their copies, sometimes it's hard to read the end of a series when you're emotionally invested in the characters, and there are a lot of series endings that leave many a reader unhappy, but this was not one of those. It was hard to read the end just because I didn't want it to be over, but I was happy with the ending. I may have a ton of questions to ask you at Dragon*Con, though. And I may ask to hug you. And I have already started my Alexia costume.
I was lucky enough to get mine early and I think the ending feels natural and right. It was a brilliant read though I must admit that I am going to miss these characters that feel so real to me.

Without spoiling, I just want to say that I fell in love with the 2nd POV. Very well done, Ms. Carriger! Thank you for sharing this world with us.
I'm so so glad you liked POV 2, is was a jump and I'm so happy with the arc for that character.
I am going to miss every single character except for Felicity.
Oh Felicity! I agree. She was a rotten thing wasn't she?

Felicity

She was terribly fun to write!
I was telling someone that I love ALL the characters and had to stop and say "Wait. Except one."
I concur on the 2nd POV! This has become one of my favourite characters in a very short time.

(Silly hat in icon for Ivy Hisselpenny. And also because Egyptiana in Victorian England. Mostly for Ivy)
Oh dear heavens...Ivy's hats! I do not blame Goldenrod for distressing over what is to become of London fashion.
I like the way you ended it, personally (I pre-ordered--Amazon sent it waaaay early--I could surprise my husband with the Vday-gift not being as late as I thought; he finished it in 24 hours and then it was my turn). There was a satisfying conclusion without tying things up too completely. And I am sailing a totally different ship now! <3 I think you know which one! ;3
Your idea of a poetical ending me cackle, and very nearly resulted in an unfortunate Tea Incident.
A third of the way in.... lovely reading so far. Bath time! :-)
Wow it's almost over. I'll miss these book but that doesn't mean I won't read anything else from you. XD
I'll be sad to see the series end HOWEVER I will be looking forward to something new from you! In fact I'm pretty excited to see what you come up with!!
Ivy becomes the most popular actress in the British Empire? *shrieks* *sobs* I am so happy for her!
Looking forward to Timeless, and I adore the cover.

Poetic ending

I positively love the poetic ending *_*

Well, my dear author, i'm just reading Heartless and of course I just love it (pardon my poor english, i have the inconvenience of being french since a long time, well if you ask me, since i was born in fact).
I can't wait to read Timeless, even if i did not finish Heartless already. Hope WHSMITH in Paris will have it the day it will be released. An hope we will come to us, poor french readers, in France precisely.

So, i must return to my class now, and just thank you for your books and your most amusing blog, it just make me in a good mood when i read it.
Having just finished Steven Eriksson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series I now know how not to finish a series; so many open endings, so many excess characters - very unsatisfactory.

I do not anticipate that problem with the Parasol Protectorate Miss Gail, each book is rounded up, with one or two loose strands, to leave us wanting the next book in line. But not so much as to leave the reader frustrated (apart from Book 2, when I was desperate to know that Lord Maccon would see sense - even I knew that supernatural + preternatural would equal more than the sum of the parts). So I have every confidence.

ending the series

I'm so sorry the series is ending just as I discovered *but* it's far better for that to happen than for it too go on too long and become a soggy literary tea cake. I'm sure the ending you wrote will be utterly appropriate just as I'm fairly sure I'll want more. Thank goodness for the next two series. :-)