I read a lot of young adult books since that's what I like to write. And I've been noticing a trend. Many of the endings are not in fact endings. They are cliffhangers, sometimes at intense moments, and if you want to know what happens next you've got to read the next book.
Now, I've always heard that as an un-agented, un-published writer you should write your novel so that it can stand alone on it's own and then if later down the line your book sells with possibly a sequel, then your editor and you will decide where book two and so on will go.
Does the term stand-alone then preclude a cliff hanger ending? A perfect example is Nightshade by Andrea Cremer, did she initially write that book with an intended cliff hanger ending, or was that something that she and her agent changed before submissions, or something that she and her editor added after it sold as a series?
Should I pretty much tie up all the story threads at the ending of my novel or should I leave some of them loose and dangling?
Any comments or clarifications?