Monday, July 23, 2007

Harry Potter again - don't worry! No spoilers!

Hey, all you writers out there! You with series-es! Yeah, you lot - come over here. That's good, okay, now you can all hear. Look, you have to start plotting out the series from soup to nuts from day one. If Rowling has taught us anything, it is that the most satisfying final book is one that ties everything together without tying everything up. If that makes any sense. Okay, okay, mystery-series-writers, you're right, you probably are exceptions. Sure sure, if a series is intrinsically episodic, then planning from A to Z is maybe not necessary from day one. But if there's a plot to follow, a story arc, a character whose journey one is meant to care about, please please PLEASE sit down and plot it out - all of it! - at the beginning. And don't bring characters back from the dead after the final blow just because everyone is clamoring for them. Get used to it! We readers are a rowdy noisy lot and also we're very demanding and unreasonable. But be firm! Be steadfast! And over time we'll come to appreciate the finite nature of your canon. Maybe we'll feel like we do about Nirvana, happy that we never had to suffer through a slow and synth-filled death.

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