As one of my favorite television series (based on one of my favorite book series growing up; the original L.J. Smith Vampire Diaries Trilogy) comes to a season 4 series finale, I can’t help my utter dissapointment.- Not because I’ll have to wait four months for the show to start back up again, but because this season was just so... bad.
I don’t know what happened. It's like the writers got so caught up in the plot (which was much weaker than usual), they forgot about the importance of their character arcs and development. Up until now, there had been a steady deepening and growth in each of their main characters over the course of every season that really made the show come alive. This season, however, not only did their characters' development come to a grinding halt, but they actually regressed. Or, when that was too much trouble, they just got killed off altogether. *sigh*
And it got me thinking, when I asked the agent I sent the R&R to why she preferred I make my book a stand-alone rather than the first in a series, she explained that a lot of YA authors today tend to over-do it with a series and it’s definitely felt by their readers.
I couldn’t help but agree.
After all, when an author is writing a series because they tend to sell more copies than stand-alones, some very scary things can in sue.
The author can get bored and resort to using the same old tried-and-true plots and plot devices. I’ve definitely gotten tired while reading serialized romance books. After the first three or four, I could see the same storylines being used over and over again and lost interest.
The author can get bold. Which can be good thing. Or not so much. Like in the case of poor L.J. Smith, who wanted to stop the Vampire Diaries at three books but was pushed to write more by her fans and publisher. Which led to downright weird plot twists involving things like angel wings, Japanese anime antagonists and other dimensions. Not good.
The author can get cocky. When a series is really popular, some authors take liberties they wouldn’t have otherwise taken with the mindset that anything and everything they do will turn to gold and be appreciated by their fans. Yeah. No.
I think it’s easy for authors to picture writing a series, especially when they feel really close to their characters. They want to spend as much time with them as they can BUT, if the passion and the vision don’t follow, some stories really are better off being wrapped up in one volume.
What do you guys think? Have you ever read a series where the author should have/could have stopped after one or two books? In what cases do you think more books are necessary for the author and the reader?