I got an e-mail the other day asking if I had written the third book of Sagon’s story. The reader had read Forger of Dreams and the sequel Tempered in Flames years ago and was anxious to know how it all ends.
I haven’t replied. Part of me doesn’t have the heart.
Book three remains unwritten and the partial series shelved. Ironically, that particular reader was one of the big reasons I haven’t finished it yet.
He’d been through some rough times, including a divorce, and frankly he related so well with my hero that I panicked.
It’s one thing to be hated by your own characters, but Sagon’s tale had it’s share of tragedy from book one. The ending is a far cry from fairy tale. The hero makes some poor choices and pays bitterly for them.
Although people like twists and turns, as a general rule, most readers crave some sort of happy ending. It’s part of the closure that brings satisfaction and encouragement.
So, what would happen when this reader didn’t find the happy ending he wanted? If a good book is supposed to take you on an emotional journey alongside the characters, did I really want to lead this reader there?
Besides, was that the first flavor I wanted to build a reputation on? I don’t consider myself a dark writer or overly tragic. This was just how Sagon’s story came to me and demanded to be written.
I started asking if the Star Wars movies had come in chronological order from the beginning, how many people would have watched the fourth one? What if people had faced the tragedy and heart-break of Anakin turning to the dark side without the knowledge of how it ended?
When I posed the question to my sister-in-law, she adamantly said, “No. After two books of rooting for the cute little boy, I don’t want to see him come to that!”
What say you? Would you keep watching? If it were a book, would you keep reading?