Foreign Friday: Thoughts about Serials 5, The Walk-Away Thoughts

Ever finished a book and your thoughts ran like this? Oh man that was so awesome I can’t believe it’s over already! I’ve gotta tell someone about this book so I can rave about that one part where the main character did that super amazing thing, and that one guy who I thought was a jerk actually had the secret plan that saved those other guys!

Or, have you ever felt like this? Wow….that was so good. I’m depressed its over, what am I going to read now? Maybe I should just reread it!

How about this? That was the stupidest use of paper ever…

For serials, there is a great need to keep the readers engaged and entertained enough to make them come back to the sequel. Those walk-away thoughts, the ending vibe that a story leaves you with when you close it, is a vital part of writing. The easiest way to do that is to leave off on a cliffhanger. I’ve continued on with even mediocre stories with the thought “well, I do sorta want to find out what happens…”

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Since Foreign Fridays are usually about manga, let me say a few words about them, and why I, a not-so-young adult American who never read comic books as a child, love them. First, I love the ability to express a character’s emotions or actions through art, as I’ve said before. It’s really true that a picture is worth a thousand words. I find that Japanese manga artwork simply strikes me as the best to convey both emotions and actions for the sort of stories I like to read. Second, I love that the plots are not American in style; they are different than the usual fare we American writers write, simply because they originate from a different culture. Okay, so some of the plots get a little bizarre, and occasionally there are references or attitudes I really don’t get, but I can write that off as a cultural thing. Speaking of culture, I also enjoy learning tidbits about Japanese culture through the manga they write.

Manga is fun! Isn’t that the point of writing?

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