Monday, August 2, 2010

What Makes You Drool?

I am on a family vacation and trying to finish the last five chapters of a novel. Not quite the great combination it seems like it would be. “Sorry kids, Sorcerer’s Apprentice is out, while I finish this romance scene.”

Actually it’s much more like, “Well, I guess I can always write tomorrow.”

Anyway, neither leaves much time for a blog post. But I am not going to flake out here. Instead I want to ask you a question I’ve been giving a lot of thought to. My hope is that Demon Spawn is the kind of novel people will really want to read the second book of. No huge cliff hanger here, but a lot of story left to be told. One of those, “Wow so now that X has happened, what will characters A, B, and C do? And what’s going to happen to E & F?”

That’s how I feel about the next Hunger Games book (which actually has no ARCs. Sorry, Sariah.) I’m both excited and nervous. Excited because there seems to be a lot of story left to tell, and nervous because I hope it will live up to my expectations. Unlike, a lot of readers, I felt like book two was less than I hoped. It felt to me like both a placeholder for book 3 and a retread of book 1. Not that I didn’t like it. I just had higher hopes.

So, boys and girls, my question for the day is: What about a book/series makes you just salivate for the next book? Examples are highly encouraged.


Magenta said...

Hmm, I need to think hard about that question...

I believe I like it when a book that I really like (has great characters, is really funny, etc.) ends on a relatively happy note, with nearly all the ends tied up neatly, until suddenly, one of the strings snap! There's a little more action in the last chapter, and suddenly the book ends, and you're left thinking "What? What just happened! I've gotta read the next book!"

A great example for this is D. J. MacHale's "Morpheus Road: The Light." (My review is below.)

I also think books make me drool if they happen to be the last in a series, and I've been following the story along particularly faithfully for a while. I know I was definitely salivating when I read the last Harry Potter, and the last Pendragon.

Oh yeah, and if a certain book gets lots of hype, I am also liable to drool. ^,~ I'm talking about "Scorch Trials", sequel to James Dashner's utterly awesome "Maze Runner". He's holding a contest for an ARC of it here!

Hurry! 170+ people are drooling over it already!

Natalie Decker said...

This is a great question and for me, it has a very simple answer: A love story. I like adventure, mystery, historical fiction and even the occasional sci-fi, but what really leaves me satisfied at the end of a book is a kiss, no mater the genre. I know it's simple, but there it is.
The Hunger games is no exception. Yes, I want to see Katniss scewer President Snow, but mostly, I just want to know which guy she ends up with!

J.N. Future Author said...

Actually, the thing that makes me want to read a story more than anything else is the world it's set in. Also I like books to tie up all last mysteries and questions - That's why I think a sequel is useful

For example, Harry Potter is much more than 'just' a story. It's an entire world! If you finish a few of the books you realize you are reading more than just Harry's story, It's Rons and Hermionies story also. It's the story of everyone there.

The same goes with other books, like the Belgrath series and the His Dark Materials Trilogy.

So the biggest thing that makes me want sequels is when you have a World story, and even though there is a satisfying ending, there are still a handful of little mysteries and questions that could easily make a sequel.

I'm not sure if I got my idea across well enough since I started writing it and then had to leave for a few hours.

All I know is I'm totally excited for Demon Spawn! They way you described the mysteries and questions left behind I can tell the sequel is going to be a fountain of information! ^.^

J.N. Future Author said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dallin said...

For me, I find that books that have lots of potential and story ahead of it are what make me salivate for the next one. I feel like I'm always excited for the last books that have a lot of things that need to be covered. I feel somewhat hesitant towards a book that only has one quest or one final task. I enjoy a nice, productive book!

Laura said...

I need to be completely sold on the characters and in love with the plot. I have to believe in how they feel and be sucked into the motivation and stakes that drive them. I really need a satisfying ending to each book, but I want a world so big that anything can happen next. I love it when I haven't figured out the ending of the story by the first three chapters. Hardly anything sells me faster than a smart twist with believable characters.

Julia Barany Yaari said...

Dear J. Scott, I would like to contact you about foreign rights to your Far World series.
My email:
Julia Barany Yaari

Ken Chandler said...

Sorry to be late in joining the conversation, but would like to add my 2 cents.

Personally, I need three things; I'll correct myself here: 2 vital elements and 1 is great if I can get it.

1) Interesting characters with diverse personalities-- which clash and blend nicely. Characters whose personalities I like and who, for the most part get along. Though with all characters they aren't going to see eye to eye at all times. There's going to be conflict and a good story needs that. But in the end, the characters ought to be there to back each other up, esp. when things get dicey. Part of what comes with my need for good characters is character growth. Are the characters wiser, better, stronger, or less pessimistic than they were in the beginning? If by the end of the book I can answer 'yes', then I'm satisfied.

2) Plot. If the book I'm presently reading fails to provide an interesting story line for the characters to follow, I'd rather read another book. The books that I've enjoyed reading most have been stories that mix a bit of familiar setting or lifestyle, with fantasy or sci-fi elements. Authors who throw me into a world I can't possibly relate to often lose me about mid-book.

3) I love to have several story lines going on at once. This is difficult to pull off, especially for young readers, so while it's not vital, it's a treat if I can get it.

Looking forward to reading DS. Good luck Jeff!