When is Enough, Enough? The “Book Series”

Earlier last week, it was announced that Meg Cabot was adding a 7th book to her previously concluded series: The Mediator. I was excited like everyone else but also hesitant. Why add another book to a series that had a nice run?

I thought about it some more and took into account the distance of time between the series’ conclusion and the announcement (8 years). Maybe that distance of time (away from the hype that surrounded the series) has allowed the author to come up with an idea for a story she can tell without the pressures of excited fans? This seems plausible and put me a bit at ease given my love for the story involving Suze and Jesse (and Paul Slater).

But what about those other book series that seem to go on and on to the point where we doubt they’re continuing for any other reason than to make money? What’s wrong with that? Nothing really. Being a writer is difficult enough, so when you have a series and/or characters that people love…why not milk every last bit of it? I love reading books in a series but I do have an issue (as a reader) with the series going well (well!) past it’s prime. There are series out there that go on as far as twenty books and by number ten, I’m tuckered out. Ultimately it makes the series suffer because whatever made it awesome to begin with gets buried underneath this word fat. Don’t think I’m bashing any series going past the ideal three books. J.K. Rowling had started out with the idea of 7 books from the beginning and wrote the series with that in mind. That was planned. Most often you can tell when books are just tacked onto the series after the fact and those are the ones I’m discussing here today.

I’m the kind of reader who wants a writer to write what I need and not what I want. Otherwise, how’ll we grow as readers and even as people if our perceptions on life never truly deviate or given a mental work out?

You may be asking yourself (maybe not): what series are you talking about exactly? Can you put some examples in your post as a way of strengthening your argument?

No.

Not because I feel like I won’t have examples to prove my point but that I don’t think it’s necessary to name names. This isn’t about a shouting match of which series is good or bad. It’s about the overall question of when is enough, enough? When has the story run it’s course versus whether or not giving into the fans who want more.

Ultimately, it goes back to writing the story you want and not the story that your readers want. Some of the best books (and series) that I’ve read displayed exactly this.

Luckily, this post isn’t a book series. So you can sound off with your own opinion down below in the comment section. That’s what this discussion type posts are about, right? Agree or disagree. It doesn’t matter. It matters that we’re talking about it.

A. A. Omer

2 thoughts on “When is Enough, Enough? The “Book Series”

  1. I know exactly what you mean. The first series that sprang to mine was the Sookie Stackhouse series. I loved them in their early days but when the books just kept going the plot lines and dialogue began to feel recycled and they no longer held my interest like they had before. I used to be an avid reader and I haven’t even picked up the most recent 2 books

  2. Word to this. And to TV shows and movies, and REBOOTS (GAWD, how many reboots of Spider-Man can there be?!). Sometimes when an author/creator has done something perfectly and right, it makes sense to end it. Move on, author/writer/creator. I know it’s a hard publishing life, but use that momentum to write something else that your fans will probably love just as much, if not more.

    I’m a big believer in leaving things alone when they’re done. That said, I also feel like, when you’ve had enough time away from it, and there’s a new perspective to be had, it might be worth it to revisit characters. Like with Before Sunrise/Before Sunset/Before Midnight. Obviously I haven’t seen the last one, but I thought Before Sunset was almost a better movie because it went deeper and built the relationship more. And that wasn’t planned, either.

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