Writing a Series

Writing a series of books is incredibly popular right now. But it’s a whole different mindset to writing one, standalone novel and isn’t as easy as you might think.

books
Books by Christopher courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

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The characters and the setting are important in any book but in a series they take on added significance. Is the setting stand out enough to make readers want to come back for more? Are the characters interesting enough that you will want to spend a lot of time with them and so will the readers? Do they have enough depth to sustain a number of stories instead of just the usual one?

Can you come up with interesting ideas across a number of books because a pale carbon copy of what you did in book one won’t cut it?

If you are an indie author, have you thought about how you will brand the series so that each book looks as though it belongs to a group and yet is eye catching enough on its own?

branding
Collaborative Brand Mechanics by Michael Cote courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

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Are you going to have an overarching theme or thread that will link each book in turn? Do you know how the series will end?

These are all the questions I should have asked myself. Of course, I didn’t. Instead I plunged in and let the words flow, eager to see where they took me. It was only as the story started to develop that I could see the potential and that’s when I asked all the questions and was able, thankfully, to answer them positively.

You see, The Tregelian Hoard was not meant to be book one in a series. It was an idea I had had kicking about in my head for some time. I had always intended it to be a standalone novella but then Jonquil Jones started to work her magic on me and I wanted to know more about her world and her battles with Sebastian Ableyard – Sable. Suddenly, The Tregelian Hoard became book one in the Jonquil Jones Mystery Series and I was on to book two.

the-tregelian-hoard-cover
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Will my foray into writing a series be a success? Who knows? I have never done anything like this before. All I can say is that I am enjoying the challenge and entertaining myself and sometimes, as writers, that is all we can ask for.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Writing a Series

  1. lgould171784 20/10/2016 / 7:41 pm

    The most successful authors I’ve read about in independent publishing lately, in terms of making serious money from it, seem to be those who put out a long series, especially in the fantasy genre. It helps if they are able to make the first book free, to attract readers, and thereafter turn out books rapidly, every three to six months, to keep their loyal fans engaged. Is this your impression also?

    Like

    • ellieholmesauthor 20/10/2016 / 7:50 pm

      Absolutely – that seems to be what is working. I can’t comment personally as I only have the first book out and books 2 and 3 won’t follow that rapidly. The key thing is to have a sustainable story and a linking hook strong enough to keep people engaged. Remember with indie publishing people can discover your series at any time and start buying your books which makes the marketing so important even a couple of years down the line. Ellie x

      Liked by 1 person

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