Presumptuous of me to post this, I know. I have nothing published much less ever having ever been offered a contract for a trilogy, but I can still hate trilogies.
And I do.
Much to my chagrin as a pre-teen, there was a book I loved, but at the ending, the author hadn’t wrapped everything up. Up until then, I had read books like Nancy Drew where is a series, but each book was a complete story. This left the story unfinished.
I noticed then it was the first book of a trilogy. I went to the library to get the next book in the series, only to learn it wasn’t written yet. Much less the third book. I was angry, frustrated, and sad.
The author didn’t finish the series until I was long over it. Still rankles, though, even now. I remember the excitement of finally getting to see what happened after begging my mom to take me to the library and finally getting her to agree. And then the devastation at learning there was no ending to read. I never did go back and finish the trilogy.
After that, I always checked to see if a book was part of trilogy. And if it was, I wouldn’t read any of them until all three were written and in my hands. This is true even now. I’m the reader, dammit, I don’t want to wait a year or more for the next installment. I don’t want to be left hanging not knowing what’s going to happen to characters I’m invested in enough that I am willing to buy a second book to see what happens to them.
Fortunately, I have not witnessed this trilogy phenomenon in the same format in romance novels. The handful of trilogies I’ve read usually involve three different female leads and three different male leads. Each book is self-contained with the romance between one set of characters being resolved. There may be an overarching plot that ties them all together, but this is secondary to the romance.
I still wait until I have all three to read any of them.
I have also seen a book “series” where all the stories are set in the same world, and you may see characters you’ve met before, but again, each book is self-contained. Kind of like my Nancy Drew books, but without the single protagonist tying them together.
Not sure where this trilogy business came from. I’ve heard it started with Lord of the Rings from JRR Tolkien. He never intended it as a trilogy, but it was too long to publish as a single novel. Guess they hadn’t seen Stephen King’s The Stand yet.
I’m sure there’s a business reason for it. Maybe it makes sure people buy all three books. But only if the publishers are patient enough to wait for the release of the third book as I know I am not alone on this. I’ve also wondered why they don’t release all three at the same time. Give the reader what they want and get us to buy three books as soon as we know we love the first one. Then I don’t have to remember I love it in a year when the next installment comes out.