Today I want to talk about Vanishing Boy Syndrome. Vanishing Boy Syndrome (more accuarately called Vanishing Love Interest Syndrome--but honestly, I like my name better) is most often seen in book two of a series. Lets look at some noteworthy cases, hmm?
Twilight Saga--In book two, Edward vanishes, leaving Bella to her own devices for the majority of the book. Vanishing Boy Syndrome.
Kushiel's Legacy--In book two, Phedre is stolen by pirates, and Joscilin is left behind for over four hundred pages. V.B.S.
Frost Trilogy--In book two, Jack runs off with the Snow Queen, leaving Katla on her own to rescue him. V.B.S.
Matched Trilogy--In book two, Cassia is looking for Ky, who is taken by the Society at the end of book one. V.B.S.
What do we have here? Examples from FOUR DIFFERENT GENRES OF THIS PHENOMENON. And I get it. Taking away the Boy makes it easier to grow the character--there is a conflict right there. How to get LI back?? But here's my problem. By the end of book one, I've already emotionally invested myself in the couple. If you take half of it away, I'm going to feel cheated. I'm going to be angry.
I'm not going to want to read it.
There are pleanty of ways to write a sequel with angst and conflict without depriving your readers of the love story they're invested in. It's more work, sure, but isn't it worth it? Or am I the only one getting tired of Vanishing Boy?
Chime in in the comments! And everyone have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We're going offline for the rest of the week to enjoy our families, but we'll be back next Monday with bios and wish lists for #PitchWars! :) See you all then! :)