I hate sad endings. What I hate even more is the ending of a series. We are talking books here, so pay attention. Breaking Bad will have to wait. LOL.
There are a lot of reasons to be sad when the last word of the last page of the last chapter is read. The biggest reason is that you have spent months, if not years, making the story a part of your life. Every day you look forward to the next part of the action, looking forward to the resolution of the conflict or finding out if the two romantic interests finally have crossed the line. Then the wait comes for the next book in the series, sometimes waiting too long. But then you are the first in line and escape with your booty to a corner to move on with your adventure.
The story is only part of it. Without characters there is no story, and whether it is your favorite hero showing once again why he is the best man, or the arch villain who you want to see meet his just end, they become a part of your fantasy life. You connect with people online or in person who you barely know and they immediately become a part of your life and the fantasy life shared in separate quarters. Too often, when the series ends, so do many of these passers-by in life, once who were strangers, then friends with a common interest, and now gone to seek out other adventures in the literary world.
More than a few people connect with the author, in the real world. Letters are written and if you are lucky you will get more than a simple acknowledgement. Yet the author, like your favorite character, becomes a hero. They are the reason for your adventure, and when the series ends so does your connection. Readers always try to get the great writers to keep writing, but few of these readers understand the energy and time spent to write superior books. One book is a challenge, but a series can be a lifetime of work. In the end, the author may be as exhausted as their readers, and maybe more satisfied
But here’s the thing. I am sharing my own experiences with the ending of a series. Other people will react differently. One friend I have was relieved that the series came to an end because while they enjoyed the reading, they felt the writing was repetitious, even cyclical. The ending allowed them to move on to another series. Another friend thought the same series should have ended three books ago because it was the perfect time to end it.
The problem I have with their opinions is that they are not writers. Many people try to write and either give up or simply are not good enough to keep readers coming back for more. That is what the end of a series should do – make you want more. Then again, I read all the time, so I probably understand the process better than others.
If you are wondering, the names of the series remain anonymous to protect the innocent – and to prevent any clue that might be considered a spoiler.