March 12, 2013

Topic: Writing A Series

I started writing when I was twelve years old and the series that I created then is the four-book series that I am finishing now. No one can ever tell me that writing a series is useless or that trying to get one published as an unpublished writer is impossible because I will not listen. Writing is my life! My series is my life! I am not writing it because I think it will get me published, I am writing it because it burns inside me, and I want to publish it to share it with others who would appreciate it.

Writing a series really shows your commitment to the art of writing, and to the love you have for the first book in the series. If you feel the undeniable urge to continue that story then that book you just wrote is a powerful creation. However, you shouldn’t write a series just to write a series. There has to be a reason for it; a story line that can be built upon and expanded through three or more books.

The role of the first book in a series is just like any other book. It has a beginning that captivates, a middle that informs, and an end that explodes. It introduces the characters and the story, but it also has to make readers want to read more.

The books that follow the first in a series have to grow and essentially get better. After all, no one wants to read a series where the first book is the best. What would even be the point of writing a sequel if it’s not as good as, or better than, the first? Essentially, the second book has to remember everything that happened in the first one, but at the same time it also has to create a new story.

What happens in each book has to quilt together even if the plots of each book are vastly different, which is the catch! A series is a segment of stories; each is different, but they are all linked together. 

Whether your series is four books long or thirty, each book has to grow. Perhaps not in pages but with the overall impact: what happens, what’s at stake, what the protagonist goes through, etc. Then the very last book has to tie all the books together with a tidy little bow. It also has to be more explosive than all the others. More importantly, it has to end the entire series, which is a big job.

Don’t feel daunted, though! Your characters will tell you how the series should end, so listen to them. If you do get stuck, take a step back to clear your mind. And don’t be afraid to rewrite!

QUESTION: How do you write a series?

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