I see you cringing. Write a series? Who me? You must be joking!
But hey, modern binge-readers love to devour a great series. Who doesn’t love to watch a series on TV that you can’t wait for during the week? I can think of plenty I’ve seen and still love to watch.
Many readers are the same about books and love them just as much. Especially if they’ve discovered one with amazing characters they can connect with. If the plotline is also well thought out and woven through, then it’s a recipe for success and readers will love one book after another in the series.
But it’s hard enough writing one book, let alone a whole series!
I hear you and agree totally. If you’re not a quick writer and take a year or more at composing one novel, then the thought of writing a series will terrify you. But if your existing plot could sustain longer, multiple storylines, it has potential for a series.
If your story follows a single narrative arc, it can’t. It’ll need multiple separate threads that you can weave together to create an amazing narrative. That means you’ll require a memorable protagonist and a cast of supporting characters who are endearing and complex in their own right. Readers should want to follow their individual journeys as they might their friends.
Their journeys must take them through both physical and emotional changes. Do they have the potential to be developed and fleshed out enough to sustain multiple books? Tolkein allowed Pippin and Merry, Sam and Frodo as well as Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli to have separate story arcs, all coming neatly together by story’s end in The Lord of the Rings.
Yes, but I can’t write a blockbuster like The Lord of the Rings!
Sure, it’s a challenge just to write a single novel. But a series takes writing to a whole new level, one that needs commitment to complete all the books for the sake of your readers. Once you begin, you’ll discover how much you’ll wantto achieve writing that series and how much you actually love your story. You’ll also realise how much you will want to find out what happens, compelling you to keep writing.
You will also discover there are basically two types of readers. Those who like one book and when they’ve finished reading it, that’s enough; the shorter the better. And there are those readers who really enjoy becoming lost in the mega serials. They enjoy the plotlines, the lengthy descriptions of settings and they love the characters.
Writers are the same. There are those who wouldn’t write a series in a million years. Writing one book is difficult enough and leave me alone please. There are those who enjoy world building, plotting, scheming and forgetting about reality. They dream of writing that book that leads to a long line of continuing, wonderful adventures. Over the decades we’ve seen: Sherlock Holms, Miss Marple, Father Brown, LOTR, The Chronicles of Narnia, Dune, Harry Potter, The Space Odyssey series, and loads more.
Have you ever come to the end of a book and felt you wanted to read more about a favourite character or storyline?
As an author, I love writing a series. I don’t want the wonderful worlds I’ve become so familiar with and created to end with the words, the end.
I love spending time exploring my characters’ world, being inside their heads, watching them get in and out of trouble, helping them on their quests. In so many ways, my characters become good friends who make me laugh or cry. I cheer them on.
So, what kind of writer will you be? Is there a series lurking inside you, just waiting for your fingers to type it onto your computer screen? If so, get started and see what happens.