Last week, I finished watching a TV series that I started years ago. I won’t say what series, but it was a drama that I put a lot of emotional investment into watching. There were some seasons I loved, some I could have passed on, but I always had this hope that the ending would be so great, so final, that it would all be worth it. I was wrong.
The big fear they instill in you for the entire series never came to fruition. And the ending, which could have easily been horrible yet poetic, turned into a giant cop-out to preserve crossover potential.
I’m not a huge fan of the kill everyone school of finales either in books or in television. But sometimes it has to be done. That finale left me not only feeling cheated and hallow, but also with a horrible new fear.
These show writers had been working on this show for years. There is a whole team of them. All experienced professionals reporting to even more important people who have millions of dollars riding on whether or not a show is good. Now here I am, very first novel coming out in September, book two in the series ready for edits, and book three is the document that doesn’t get closed on my laptop. I know my characters. I know who they are and where they need to go. But what if everything I know is a big mistake? What if I ask my readers to trust me, to read all the way through this series, and when they get to the end they just scream, “This was a load of poop!” at their chosen reading device?
I think my plan is what’s best, but so did the writers of the ill-fated, disappointing TV series finale. I’m sure they didn’t try to make everyone I’ve talked to hate the finale. But they managed it anyway.
Thus ends this week’s author freak out.