To be continued…in a series?
How big a story do you have? Will you need a series of books with these same characters? You may not know yet. When I started 25 years ago, I just wanted these people out of my head. That may be where you are.
Let’s talk series for a moment. I’ve been reading some series lately (but – honestly – I never read while I’m writing. I start sounding like someone else).
Grafton and Evanovich
One series is Sue Grafton’s “Alphabet” books. She’s even said in an interview that she didn’t really think it through when she started A is for Alibi that she’d be obligated to finish all 26 letters. I also read Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. She started with numbers: One for the Money; Two for the Dough; Three to Get Deadly… It’s 2021, and she’s up to #28. Plus she has several other series going as well.
But I’m just starting
The reason I want you to think about this now? Many series are trilogies. Like a 3-act play, you need to leave some things unfinished at the end of book 1. Then you make things as bleak as possible by the end of book 2. And you wrap it all up in Book 3. If this is your path, then you need to have time to ponder the bigger picture before you outline THIS project.
A different kind of series
In recent years, series have also taken on the appearance of a “spinoff.” This means that Book 1 focuses on People A & B, but C is mentioned often. Book 2 focuses on C while mentioning A & B some to pacify their fans, but the reader also meets D. Book 3 is D’s book, etc. If this is your path, you need to know now who is going to star in volume 2. They will need to show up in volume 1. I have a harder time with this form of series creation than I should. I become very attached to characters, so I want to hear more about THEM and not their friends or family.
Me? I didn’t plan book 2. Then I finished the rough draft of this version, and these characters kept doing stuff in my head. (I really do hope you understand that because my family doesn’t get it.) So I made a rough outline for book 2. But, based on my plans for book 2, I had to add a character and change another character’s name. This is also when I gave Justice ¼ of the book as a POV character. Good thing I looked ahead, eh?
You? You may not know anything past the events for this one story. Just be open to the possibilities.
My FREE novel planning templates are available beginning June 14, 2021 from my Novel Planning page here, along with links to the brief blog posts that explain them. You will also find links to posts describing my additional planning templates that are available here in my Shop.
Say, let me know if you already have a series idea. I’ll cheer you on! Comment below or on my Facebook page.
In Hosea 13:4, He lets us know, “I am the Lord your God…and besides me there is no savior.”
Nothing else can save.