So, You Want to Write a Series?

Series_option1_laptop-3242862__340 (002)You’re an author and you’ve decided you want to write a series. Well, this is the post for you.

A series can be great for authors because it can draw in readers and keep them. If they like your first book and its characters, they’re likely to forge ahead and buy more books in the series. This is why there are so many series out there. Today, I’m going to talk mainly serial series. So, to get started, let’s get definitions out of the way. A serial series is one that has an overarching story arc throughout the series. Think Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. The books are meant to be read in order, and build on one another. A non-serial series will use the same world or the same character, but can be entered through any book in the series. Think of Sue Grafton’s alphabet mystery series or Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. These are more like the “continuing adventures of” types of series, and each book can stand alone. While it’s nice to know the backstory of the character, you don’t have to know it to really enjoy any book in the series. Continue reading “So, You Want to Write a Series?”

Writing a Series: Pitfalls and Solutions

writing a series graphicCommon wisdom has it that, as an Indie, it’s a good idea to write a series. You price the first book as free or $.99 and set the rest at a regular price. Once readers are hooked, you can pretty well count on them to buy the others. Loyal customers and all that.  But inherent in the multi-book series, you have two main problems. Continue reading “Writing a Series: Pitfalls and Solutions”

Series Writing: Empowering Your Inner Sprawling Epic

epic book-863418_960_720Guest Post
by Adan Ramie

Most writers of fiction have dealt with a story that pushes against the boundaries of novel word count. Many might even know what it’s like to realize you’re writing what my writing group jokingly calls “the sprawling epic.” You know the type: the story starts when your protagonist is born and goes on for decades – maybe centuries – and several books before it finally reaches its conclusion.

Recently I found myself facing this sometimes-crippling foe. Unwittingly, I had written myself into a crossroads in which I had published three novels in three genres, and they were all screaming sequel. I solved my dilemma not by giving up on any of the stories, but by clarifying each of them with this three-question method. Continue reading “Series Writing: Empowering Your Inner Sprawling Epic”

Fitting a Prequel into Your Series

prequel chicken or the eggGeorge Lucas has done many wonderful things for the world (Star Wars, American Graffiti, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Star Wars), but one of the most fun is his popularization of the term “prequel.” According to Wikipedia (that hub of fan information that hasn’t necessarily been vetted), the term appeared sometime in 1956, but wasn’t popularized until Lucas announced he was doing a “prequel” to his Star Wars trilogy that would give backstory of Darth Vader.

By definition, a prequel is a sequel. It comes after the original work was written. However, it’s the backstory component that leads up to how the main characters got to be who they were.

While I love George’s popularization of the prequel, I’m not that happy with one other thing he popularized: re-numbering the series to make it seem as if the prequel should be read/watched first. There are many things I loved about Star Wars: Episode I, but I’m not sure I would have sat through that much Jar Jar had I not watched the now renamed Star Wars Episodes IV, V (OMG, Darth Vader is Luke’s father!) and VI. Continue reading “Fitting a Prequel into Your Series”