How is the story I'm working on going to end for my protagonist?
I did a little digging and found some gems:
The knee-jerk answer is generally something like this: "For any story to have a satisfying ending, the protagonist of the story must end up in a better, happier state than he or she began the story in."
That's all well and good; it gives the reader a sweet sense of satisfaction after the trials and tribulations found on the road of the stories main arc.
Characters May Affect Change: Your character may change his situation, his environment, and thus put an end to the conflict. This is the classic tale of the hero overcoming cancer, the hero putting down a mutiny, the cop catching the bad guy, the farm girl marrying the handsome landowner, and so on.
Character May Change as a Result of Conflict. In this ending, our protagonist is permitted to lose, so long as he or she grows from it. So the kid dies from cancer, but learns to grow and accept death in the process. Or your hero walks the plank, loses his ship, but is better prepared for the signs next time a mutiny is about to break out. In these cases, the growth of the character becomes more important than winning. Even though the battle is lost, something is salvaged from the incident. The protagonist learns how to live.
Your Audience Can Be Changed by the Story. Perhaps each of you can dig back into your own lives and find events, books or movies that have dramatically affected you.
The world should be larger than the story.
The villain's world is well populated.
What type of series is this? Will each book have an immediate follow-up or will one or more generation have passed? Will each book have unique protagonists?
Info dump becomes an appendix.
Go back and resolve the info dump 'chunks' in earlier periods of the story.
Hope this helps!