My Relationship with Standalones

Posted January 17, 2017 by Keionda Lei Lewis in Discussion / 23 Comments

I’m going to be totally honest here….

I… I just don’t understand them.

It’s like.. how the HECK can you read a standalone and get anything out of it? DO you even get anything out of it for that matter? It’s like, as soon as you start it, it ends…. All of my books (that I’ve written so  far) are ALL series of 3 books and up. Maybe i’m just being a total weirdo, the black sheep, or quite possibly, the pink and glittery Llama.

Nah. I don’t think so.

My (Many) Problems with Standalones:

1. Poof. They’re over before they even start. The two characters you’ve been waiting to squish faces finally kiss, the world explodes, etc. But.. then what? Nothing. Nada. You wanna know why? Because #standalones

2. No chance to develop relationships. Me? I have to fall in love with my characters. I. NEED. IT. In fact, because if I don’t feel anything for the characters, there really is no point in reading it IMO…

3. No book depression. Okay, it’s not like I want to go through book depression but I’d rather that, than not experience any type of feels. Know what I  mean?

4. Plot development? This speaks for itself. There is just not a lot of chances for plot development here , in my most humble opinion….

5. The Good ‘Ol Romancing. I’m an unashamed romance junkie. I like to see how the romance grows and deepens between the two characters. I just feel that in standalones, you never have time to appreciate the LURVE between the two characters to the max.

6. Lastly, a standalone doesn’t give enough room for character growth. I mean, at the end, there is a process where the characters learns his or her lesson  but it doesn’t give me the same feeling as when a character I’ve been following for a while (series) finally overcomes his/her challenge. I like to experience the entire journey of my best book friends, instead of passing through it briefly in one book. See what I mean?

Since I kinda totally don’t want this post to be all about #howIdespisestandalones, I thought I would add in a positive thing about them. 

  1. No cliffhangers. Okay, the worst thing about reading a book in a series, is when ends with half the story missing. So, now you’re forced to wait until the next book in the series comes out. I kind of love the fact that standalones don’t have cliffhangers. When it’s done, it’s done. No wait necessary. 

So, standalones aren’t ALL that bad…  

And yes, I only found one thing about standalones that I actually liked.

Don’t hate me. 


I am super anxious to hear what you guys have to say concerning standalones? Do you think I’m being totally irrational? Or do you think standalones are the best think EVA? And OMG, my job interview in Washington D.C. is less than 2 weeks away!! *SQUEEE*



23 responses to “My Relationship with Standalones

  1. Standalones are tricky. If you’re lucky enough, a book will be written so well that you’ll never want for anything. On the other hand, some books are just soo good you’d want to keep reading. I have a complicated relationship with them as well.

    • I’m glad you know what I mean then, Joy! 🙁 They are hit or miss and you never know what to expect, which is whyI choose to stay far, far, FAR away from them. T.T

  2. Sophia Rose

    You’re totally irrational. LOL, just kidding. Different strokes for different folks and all that. I like them both. I think it really comes down to good writing. I’ve read standalones that are lousy and need more development, but I’ve also read dualogies or trilogies that were bloated and needed a trim or series that just needed to land that puppy and be done. I think I do lean more toward series though, lately because I do like the room for the developing story arc and time with the characters and their relationships.

    • More of a series girl myself but I’ve read some pretty good standalones on your blog that you seemed to have really liked… So I guess at the end of the day I need to branch out. YES. I KNOW. 🙂 Got any historical romance series you liked?

  3. RO

    Girl, you already know that I’m gonna read anything you write even if it is a series. (lol) What has happened in the past, is that I really liked a novel or author, then went through the depression as you mentioned, while waiting for the next one. That’s normally when I find out there is a series, so I’m stuck – lol. I try to stay away from them lately, unless it’s for my fave authors, because of the time factor. Hugs….

    • AWW RO, you’re too sweet! <3 Me, I try to make sure the series is already completed before I jump in it because… because I’m going to get hooked, it’s inevitable, and then I’m going to be all sad when the next book in the series doesn’t come out until like.. pfft, a YEAR.

  4. Lauren Becker

    Good luck on your interview, first off! Second, I really do love stand alone novels. If there is a romance that is building throughout the book, then yeah, I can see wanting another book with them, but most of the time, standalones work for me. I think it works best with contemporary novels though. It seems like when it’s a “genre book”, it’s more likely to have at least one sequel. I’m just bad with keeping up with series, so that’s another reason standalones work well for me!


    • Ahh, yes, I was thinking the same thing as I was writing this post! Genre series are typically going to have more books in them. I only tried one Contemporary book and I didn’t like it because it was so short and I didn’t get enough time to hang out and love the characters. But, I know, I need to start reading out of my typical series. I’M TRYING. teehee!

  5. I love both standalone and series books. I never want a world to end, especially if I’m obsessed with it. I enjoy contemporary stories that are standalone, more than any other genre.

    • RIGHT! I like to be able to stay in the world for a LONG TIME, to appreciate the characters, the romance, and the growth. 🙂 But you’re right! Contemporary genre books are mostly going to be standalones and it makes sense for them to be since they don’t have any supernatural or fantasy qualities to them. 🙂

  6. I used to hate them but after so many trilogies dragged out with filler or ended so badly – I have a new appreciation for them lol

    I do hate the ones that don’t pull it all together until the past few pages because I need to SEE that it all works out – not just be told. But I’ve read a lot of stand alones that handle it well.

    Then I’ll get burned on them and go back to series! lol

    Good luck with your job interview!!!!!

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

    • I have a strong dislike for those series that seems to drag on, and on, and ON. I agree that a series needs to wrap up the problems, questions, etc. earlier on and not at the VERY LAST PAGE. Sometimes it works but in most cases, yah, IT DOESN’T. :)And thanks girl! I’m excited to go to Washington, D.C.! 🙂

  7. I do like a standalone now and then, but like you I do prefer series. This year I am keeping track of what i read in a sheet and one of the things I am tracking is which book in a series a book is or if it’s a standalone. Will be interesting to see how many standalones I read. But standalones can be really good too if well written. If I read series those are also often the type that feature a different couple in each book and in those cases most of the character development happens in one book too. I just seems to pick up way more series than standalone and prefer them, even though I don’t really have something against standalones.

  8. I knew you weren’t keen on standalones because you’re always asking for series recommendations. 😀 I love standalone novels! Most of the time, the standalone novels that I’ve read are so much better than a series. Series tend to drag out “epic” plots, relationships, and character development, and a lot of each of the books in the series ends up being “fluff”. Filler content, you know? I like standalone novels because things get down to business almost immediately – there is no room for “fluff” or filler content.

    BUT I do like series too! Probably better when all of the books are published though, rather than waiting for each as they publish. 😉

    Great post, Keionda! Have an awesome weekend. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  9. You and me are like kindred spirits. I feel like every time you have a discussion on your blog, it’s always something that no one else seems to be on the same page as me about, but YOU ARE. I feel like so many people love standalones and prefer them, and I’m over here like, “Dammit, stop writing standalones! Why is every book a standalone! Why do I keep requesting standalones from NG???”

    I mean, ok, some of the best books I’ve ever read have been standalones. So they *can* be amazing. And some stories really only work as standalones. However… usually, even if a standalone is amazing, it tends to be forgettable to me and eventually I kinda stop caring about it because I don’t even remember the characters or the story or the emotions, whereas series I love stay with me.

    But see, I think I like series for the same reasons as you. I love characters and emotions and it usually takes me a while to truly get invested and fall in love with characters. I’m talking, like, numerous books. I might love characters after one book, but not on the same level that I will LOVE them after three books, you know? And one book just isn’t enough for me to really get sucked in and lost in a story the same as I do with a series. It’s like… something I can’t describe, the way series suck me in and make me feel. So I totally get you.

  10. Olivia-Savannah

    Standalones are scary, but they can be done well! I’ve only ever attempted to write one standalone, and even that is unfinished. But I really think some authors know how to show us just the right moments of development in characters, with just the right amount of plot and just the right amount of EVERYTHING. Which leaves me in awe ;.;

  11. sydneyeditor1

    I hear you, I do, but awhile ago I was wondering when everything became a series of three books where I had to wait and wait and I just wanted it all to be standalone and over instead of waiting years for it to end. I am not patient. LOL

  12. Okay, no shooting long-distance daggers, but I’m kind of at the opposite end of the spectrum. I love stand-alones. I get to a point where I’m on trilogy/series overload and I positively start to crave stand-alones. I feel like, if written well, a story can be told within one book. My two favorite books I’ve read so far this year are stand-alones. And I just went and looked at my top 16 of 2016 – it was almost evenly divided. Nine of my faves were part of a series, 7 were stand-alones. I’ve read many stand-alones where I connected with the characters and was 100% invested in the story. And some series where I wasn’t as much. I think it’s all in the story-telling. 🙂
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

  13. OMG you’re coming to DC??! My home city!! (I stay about an hour outside of the city but still lol) I really hope you land it girl! It’s funny that you’re afraid of stand-alones when series scare me to death! First of all, the first book is 9 times out of ten the best right? Then you have to worry about the sequel living up to the first, the third not being trash, and so forth. I can never successfully finish a series, I think I can actually count on one hand how many I’ve read and completed lol. All of your reasons are pretty legit though. Stand-alones have so many factors that go into them, development as you’ve mentioned, writing, the plot . . you and I both know how many books I’ve DNF’d in my day. Here’s to hoping we both conquer our reading fears lol. Good luck on your interview boo!

  14. Oh I kind of love standalones! I mean, I totally get what you are saying, because the development of plot and characters in series can be so amazing, but it’s nice sometimes to pick up a book and know that I can move on to a different world and characters right after this one. So I guess I can be in the mood for both standalones and series. 🙂 It’s always amazing to me that authors can plan out plot and character trajectories for a whole series though, so kudos to you for writing them! And good luck with your interview!!

  15. For me it depends on what the genre is Kei. I prefer contemporaries to be standalones or when in a series, can be read as a standalone. Because there isn’t any world building, contemporaries are always driven by the characters and they can end up a little dramatic at times to cover the lack of storyline. Any other genre, BRING ON THE SERIES! Especially fantasy. Completely agree though, a series when drawn out is not only intense but I prefer the pacing too. It’s not all fast and furious and you really have a feel for characters.

    I’d love to hear what your series’ are about Kei <3

  16. Aw I love standalones, it’s a story with a start, a middle, and an end. All in one package. Unless the ending is crap, that’s just irritating.

    Although perhaps it depends on the genre?

    One of my favourite authors writes standalones. They’re usually fairly long and wonderful but they are fantasy (there’s very little romance, and certainly not the regular type of romance). A couple are sort of in the same universe if you squint, but they have nothing to do with each other. Although there’s one book I wish he’d write a sequel to, he’s been hinting at it for years.

    I don’t like series that aren’t really series, they’re just a bunch of standalones in one universe. I read them, but never in order (like normal series). It’s like they’re trying to make you feel obligated to read them all!