The last two books I’ve read have both had the same problem…they chopped the climax in half in order to make room for a sequel.
Every novel should have a main conflict. The climax is the culmination of that conflict in which the problem is resolved. It doesn’t need to be happy, but it needs to be satisfying. But when you take the conflict and try to splinter it into small problems and then only solve half of them, it is not a resolution.
A true sequel occurs when the characters are so well-developed that we want to know what happens next in their lives, even if all of the problems we know about are finished. If you want to have sequels, focus on characters, not on splitting your plot.
What in the arts enriches your life? Utah is becoming well known for its talents: dancing, for instance. Many of our young people have been cast members in such shows as Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance. In fact, Nigel Lythgoe, one of the producers/judges in the latter, has been known to say if you need skilled and dedicated dancers, go to Utah. Groups like the Ririe-Woodbury dance troupe have flourished here since I was in college (and THAT was a good, long time ago!).
David Archuletta did well in the singing department — and even that was years and years after the Osmond clan hit the musical circuit. America’s Got Talent showed the wonderful talent of Alex Boye. We can hardly ignore the Tabernacle Choir and the Utah Symphony. Additionally, a number of our municipalities have such musical groups of their own.
Artists from many venues have thrived in Utah: painting, sculpture, music, theatre, writing. What arts do you depend on for solace? For inspiration? For fun? For entertainment?.
Do your characters also lean on the arts for support? Which types of art feed their souls? Where do they turn for comfort, solace, sustenance?
3 Writing Exercises to Get to Know Your Character Better:
1. write her obituary.
2. Write a commercial starring YOUR character.
3. Have your MC love interest write a song about her.