Let me be clear. I despise cliff hangers. And not just the ones that leave a main character literally hanging off some metaphorical cliff. I also hate the ones that have only a temporary resolution of the story problem–or none at all–and basically force you to pick up the next book to find out what happens.
I’ve worked really hard in all of the DUAL MAGICS books to have a complete story in each one–some problem that starts early in the book and gets some kind of resolution at the end. Of course, middle books in series also need to have a build-up of unresolved problems that will come to fruition in the last book, which complicates the resolution. But each book does have some conflict that defines that part of the series, too.
While I’ve been taking a brief respite from DUAL MAGICS, I’ve been working on a very rough draft of the first book of what will be my next epic fantasy series. (By the way, the break is working. My subconscious has started throwing up ideas about the way things should go as I build to the series climax. I’ll be able to go back to it with more enthusiasm–and more inspiration–soon.) I think this new series will be a trilogy, possibly a duology.
But here’s the problem: right now at least, I can’t see any way that this first book can end that isn’t a cliff hanger. Oh, not that I won’t have, sort of, resolved the conflict I set up at the beginning. But it won’t be a satisfying kind of resolution. And it can’t be, not for this series.
And that presents a problem for me. I don’t want to do to my readers the sort of thing that annoys me as a reader. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m getting a start on this now. I may need to write this series all the way to the end, at least in rough draft, first. That way, I could shorten the time between releases so maybe it wouldn’t be so bad.
For right now, it’s still just get the story down, though.