When a Book Leaves You Hanging – a Guide to Waiting for a Sequel
We’ve all been there: You finish a novel only to discover that unresolved plots necessitate a sequel. Your book ends in a cliffhanger and there is no sequel … yet. Suddenly you are left hanging. The characters you love are in limbo, their world (and yours) is in crisis. How can you deal with your feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment?
My friend Stefani was reading The Hunger Games. When she got to the supposed finale she found the fateful words: “End of Book 1.” Devastated, she vowed never to read a book with a sequel again. Or at least not until all the volumes had been published so she could read them back-to-back.
Do not abandon hope; your favorite author has not forsaken you. You can get through this. Even now, the author is busily creating the next volume of this story. But what can you do in the mean time? Sitting and waiting may not be enough. You do not have to pine away; you have not been deserted. Here are some tips for turning your unrequited fandom into a productive way to while away the days until the sequel arrives.
- Re-read the book. Look for foreshadowing and other hints about what could be in book two.
- Track down proof or galley copies of the book. See if there are any differences.
- Search the website for your author or series. Have any new clues been revealed about the upcoming book?
- Follow the author on Twitter and wait for tidbits about the title, characters, or plot.
- Write the author via email or Twitter and share words of encouragement so the book is released on time (you hope).
- Join a fan club and debate what might happen in upcoming volumes.
- If the series you are following has films or television episodes, watch those until you can repeat the dialogue verbatim.
- Make videos of the movies or TV shows and add your own dialogue.
- If your book isn’t a TV show or video, choose actors and actresses to play the key roles.
- Write fanfiction about alternate endings or subplots.
- Plan a costume party so you can dress like your favorite characters.
- Plan a launch party for the next book.
- Circle the date on the calendar and plan specials ways to countdown to the book’s release.
- Recommend the book to friends and start your own book club.
It’s important to use this time between books to focus not on when and how the story left you in limbo but to focus on when the story will resume. Don’t dwell on the past. Concentrate on the future — a future where all your unanswered questions from the first book are finally tackled. Your patience will be rewarded. When in doubt, think optimistically. At least you aren’t waiting for the sequel to Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. While it was published in 1936, the sequel, Scarlett, wasn’t published until 1991 after being approved by Mitchell’s estate. A wait that long would break most people, but you are not most people and you can get through this.
— Laura C. Perenic, currently reading Beta: Annex #1 by Rachel Cohn (featured in the Hub post Learn More About Frankenstein)