Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Speaking of Series...

Yesterday I got together with my writer buddies, Bonnie R. Paulson and Shelley Martin. With them I discovered what's been holding me back on my latest project. Since it's a series, I've been having trouble figuring out how and when to work in details from previous books...and just how much information to fit in. More on this later.

That's when we began discussing the two main types of series novels. Sequential Series and Stand-Alone Series.

A Stand-Alone Series is one in which you could read the books in any order without missing anything. They can feature different characters like Judith McNaught's regency novels, or follow the same character on different adventures, Like Nancy Drew. How that girl stayed he same age from the 70's on, I'd like to know. :)

A Sequential Series is one in which it's best to read the books in order so you can follow a continuing story line. They may feature different characters, like the Dark Hunters or the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels, or the same character, like the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series.

But though there's a continuing story in the series, each novel, especially in romance, has stand-alone features, like a love story.

This is what I'm going for in mine. Today's mission will be to cut a little more back story that I believe unnecessary to the plot of this novel.

Oh, and contrary to what my progress bar for THE QUEEN OF PROPHECY says, I have been getting stuff done with it. I've just been cutting as much as I've been writing. :) See my post on this Monster Project for more explanation.

For those writing a series, which type are you working on? What problems are you attacking and what solutions have you found? 


  1. I have both. The Faction is a stand alone series, it is meant to read Episode one forward, however you can pick up episode four and understand what is going on. I wrote it like a television show.
    Now my other stuff, yeah you'd be lost.
    With that said, i hate repeating shit. That's what i hate about a lot of series, they spend half of the book retelling the shit that happened before. i don't do that. buy the first one and start there.

    The best at writing series is R.A. Salvatore.
    You can pick up any of his trilogies (the characters are all the same, like my favorite is the Drizzt books) and each set series (there is like 15 of them and 40 books) and you know exactly what is going on and why and any recounting is only a line and that tells you EVERYTHING you need to know. I love it. the man is a genius.

    In my Forbidden Alliance trilogy book two and three recounts the previous books pretty simplistically, in the first paragraph, three lines, and it sums it up PERFECTLY.
    Forbidden Alliance: A Vampire's Tale
    "If you would have asked me five weeks ago what I would be doing today, I would have never said standing in a Las Vegas hotel room while on the run from an ancient sect of werewolf purists that want to kill the only woman I’ve ever truly loved, simply because I love her and she loves me. The Aslak are in fear of Jay Dee and I creating a new race of immortals, a combination of vampire and werewolf, a race that will have all of our strengths and none of our weaknesses. Assassination attempts aside, the biggest and most annoying problem that we currently face is the fuming five-foot brunette glaring at my new wife and my arsehole brother leaning against the wall with a shite eatin’ grin on his face.
    Needless to say, this isn’t how I planned on spending my wedding night."

    Sums up book one enough that you know what is going on in book two and why.

  2. Great post! You summed it up nicely!

  3. Thanks. You were a lot of help inspiring the post...especially the Nancy Drew example. :)