Monday, March 5, 2012

The Pros and Cons of Writing a Series


Happy Monday everyone! And what a wonderful Monday it is. Why? You ask? Well, I got a sneak peek at the final product for LACRIMOSA yesterday...and I can honestly say that Compass Press out did themselves. IT IS BEAUTIFUL...
Which leads to today's post. Okay, not really, but it is related to LACRIMOSA and the entire series.

I often get asked when sis I know this would be a series, to which my typical response is extreme laughter! See, this book was never supposed to be a series. Not even close. And it was certainly not a three book, one novella and two short stories kind of a series either. At least not until it sold as such.

See, I didn't want to write a series. Not at all. I think writing series are hard. They often deteriorate into the world of the cliche. And this is NOT something I wanted to happen to LACRIMOSA or that world. But, when I spoke with my publisher about the storyline, she said the SAME THING every one of my betas readers had said...

DUDE! THIS IS A SERIES!!!

Guess I needed to get comfortable with writing a series—and quick!

But how? For me, it started with figuring out the things I was most worried about with a series. After brainstorming, talking with some of my friends, and talking with my loyal teen group, I identified the following areas of concern with writing a series:
  • Many series have a strong first book, and weaker, cliche, or repetitive follow up books
  • Retelling backstory—over and over and over
  • “Forcing” the storyline beyond what it really is
Next, I thought about other options, like companion stories. But, I had a couple of concerns there as well:
  • Lack of story continuity (and the feedback from readers that this isn't always a good thing)
  • Switching POVs to a new character or characters
  • Lack of linear storytelling
While neither of these lists are fatal in my opinion, they both included things I really wanted to be aware of as I began plotting out the series. 

In the end, I decided I wanted to include the following things in the Requiem series (and NO, I am not including any spoilers here):
  • A full storyline that steers clear of the cliche
  • Crafting each story to stand-alone to some degree, without retelling backstory over and over
  • Using novellas and novelettes to bridge between the stories and introduce alternative POVs without losing the continuity of the series. 

Man, this is tough. Beyond tough, actually. But I can honestly say I have enjoyed the process; enjoyed stretching myself as an artist.

Will I be successful? No idea. I guess all of you, my readers, will be the final judge. I can only hope you do!

5 comments:

  1. I am dealing with this right now as i edit book #2 and plot books # 3 and #4. SIGH! Thanks for the post.
    Michelle

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    1. It's been hard for me. But I am getting there. I hope. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. It is extremely hard! I'm sure you'll nail it though. :)

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    1. I need to borrow that confidence. I am not nearly as positive

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Thanks for your input!