Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writing a series

Does it seem to anyone else that there are more and more series (not sure how to pluralize that one) out there lately? Sometimes I wonder can't an author just write a stand-alone book anymore?

I know there are many reasons to do a series: too much story for one book, introducing new elements, and, of course, more money.

I was considering a series for my debut novel Growing Up Gracie. In fact I have a start on book two, Danielle, Never The Bride. These books would each come from a member of the "All-Mormerican Family" the Fremonts. But now I'm not sure it's going to happen.

This is a difficult choice to make. I didn't end Gracie in a cliffhanger by any means. It stands alone. However, many people who have read it continue to ask me when the next book will come out.

A series to me is scary. It lends a spirit of "have to" to the writing that I don't know I can deal with for six books. I'm not saying I'm not going to follow through with this project, I'm just not certain at this point.

Have you written a series? What are the pitfalls of writing a series? What are the joys?


Bonnie R. Paulson said...

I haven't written a series yet. Am working on my first one and Yep, I'm freaking out.

From what I understand you're supposed to be able to read each piece as a standalone but also leave questions for the reader to be curious enough to continue following.

Anna said...

For me, I don't think I would want to write series. Of course, it is hard to say right now at the stage of writing I am in. The story does need to end at a really good moment, but sometimes you just think ... what else happened? So in that case, another book in the series is nice. The backstory is already set which is nice.

Some series I've read and got to the point that I wondered if it would EVER end. If I feel like I'm to a point that I just don't care about the characters anymore, I'll not finish the series.

There is one author right now that has written 10 books in a murder mystery series that I still want more. And she's written an 11th to be out next year. Yay!

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And for some people 3 or 5 in a series is good and for some there is never enough. I think it's about what feels right for the writer and if the fans are still wanting and you have the creativity to keep giving them it.

Chantele Sedgwick said...

The book my agent picked up could be a standalone, or a series. I'm actually hoping (if it sells and does well) that it could be a series because there are some loose ends that need to be wrapped up in later books. Who knows though.
I really don't mind most series, but sometimes like the previous poster said, I just wish the author would wrap it up already! I have a hard time with the second books in most series, but that is another post for another day! ;)

Melanie Jacobson said...

I think if you take the approach of treating them more off as a spin off from each other rather than a series, you'll shake that feeling a little. I'm not interested in series either and for the same reasons. It would be really hard to be locked in creatively like that. However, when I did a spin off, I never felt like that. I don't have to worry about an overarching narrative but instead, I could just follow a character I really enjoyed from the first book and figure out where she went next.

Tana Adams said...

I'm writing a series right now and it is scary. What if people like book one and not book two? Or loathe book three? Can I stand these characters for as long as it takes to get this done? And will there be any readers left for the final installment? All questions swirling in my head. =)

Jill Kemerer said...

I agree with Melanie--it's easier to think of them as spin-offs. I am in the middle of writing a series with each book focusing on a different main character but sharing other characters and the setting. It's a lot of fun! I love it!