Sorry about the half-a-post yesterday. 😉 I deleted it after I accidently published it … but I’m pretty sure it went out to everyone who receives email notifications of new posts. Sorry about that. I’m not perfect. 😛
Today I’ll be giving you a few tips for writing a book series. 🙂
Know when to stop. Eventually, it’s time to write the last book in a series and move on to something new. You can’t stick with your beloved characters forever, and if the series keeps going on for a hundred books, your reader is going to loose interest at some point. Stop writing when you don’t have another book to write.
Don’t be inconsistent. A character can’t have red hair in the first book and blonde hair in the second book … unless he or she dyed it … and why would anyone dye red hair? It’s perfect as it is! 😉 So get your facts straight. But more importantly, be true to your character’s personality, way of speaking, way of acting. Nothing’s worse than a character who changes from the end of the last book to the start of the next without reason … especially if he/she happens to be your reader’s favorite character!
Remember that each volume is also an individual story. It must have a beginning, middle, and end … introduction, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.
Don’t make each book exactly like the last. Star Wars fans are already speculating about the eighth Star Wars movie, and I’ve heard a few people say that they think the 8, 9, and 10 are going to mirror the original three … same old plot. I don’t know what you think, but the only thing that comes my mind is bad idea. Your books are part of a series; they should be similar; they should not be identical. Don’t be predictable!
Don’t recap too much at the start of every book. If your reader insists upon reading your books out of order, don’t make it too easy on him. 😉 Seriously, though, extensive recapping is unnecessary and boring to a reader who’s reader the first couple books, and downright dull to a reader who hasn’t. Avoid it. If you must recap, spread it out a little; don’t begin the book with page after page summarizing the first books in the series.
Although writing a series of books instead of a stand-alone is much more difficult, if you have the material to do so, it’s a good idea. If the reader likes the first book, he or she will likely read the next one … and the next one … and the next one.
Thanks for reading and have a nice mid-week.