on Fiction University:
The need to know is what keeps readers interested in your novel. Don’t let them down.
My husband and I watch a lot of movies, and we often discuss them over a meal afterward. Years ago, we were deciding if we wanted to see Men in Black 3. We both loved the original, felt the sequel was meh, and had read not-great reviews about the third (we did end up seeing it).
Then my husband said something profound (as he often does) that really related to writing and keeping readers hooked in a novel.
“The first movie had the joy of discovery in it that was missing from the second.”
Which totally nails why a book, especially in a series, can fall flat.
One of the ways readers stay interested in a story is by learning new things about the world and characters. The discovery of who they are, what they can do, and how everything works, can be very compelling.