A Writer's Journey

November 25, 2011

Series—Pros and Cons

Harry Potter.


Babysitter’s Club.

Nancy Drew.


Into the Wilderness.

Those are all series. Three of which I’ve read, two which I’m still reading and one I’ll probably never read ever. (Hint: It’s Twilight. Sorry Twihards, it’s just not my cup of tea). There are many stories out there that are part of series. It seems fans clamor for them as well. It’s natural, after all. We want to read more about these characters we’ve grown to love. (Or hate). That’s why we write fanfiction as well.

And I’ve been seriously considering writing series. Let’s take “The Wedding Game” for example. I already have a title (And Lead Us Not…take a wild guess at the novel’s main theme) and have already written the prologue. And I was thinking beyond that book as well. And most likely not all dealing with Christian. Or at least not directly. “And Lead Us Not” will. Then I thought I would continue through the centuries to follow her descendants. I would love to write about the Tudor period. I would also love to have one of her descendants be married to a newly appointed royal governor in Colonial America. I don’t know how far I would go—maybe all the way into Victorian times? World War I? World War II?

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but I really want to write American historical fiction. I’m a firm believer that every town has its place in the country’s history that they may not realize. For instance, I learned a Revolutionary War battle had been fought down the road from my house. Who forgot to mention THAT in history class?

Anyway, my second series would be focused on my hometown. I don’t think they would be novels, though. Perhaps novellas instead. Those are usually about 50,000 words and I would probably aim for a younger audience—Young Adult (YA). I would love to see them sold in local stores and at the various museums. Or read in the schools.

Series can be beneficial. They can allow an author to have long arcs that can be developed very intensively. It also allows for a character’s journey to be a long progressive one without having to compact everything or publish a book to rival “War and Peace.” For example, I have watched Hannah Bonner in Sara Donati’s “Into the Wilderness” series grow from a young girl into an accomplished young woman. Or how the six books in the American Girl series took the respective girl from childhood to the cusp of adolescence.

It also pleases the fans. They get to read more about the character’s they’ve come to love (or hate). They can to spend more time in the world you, the author, have created. They get to sit around and debate about what’s going to happen next. Debate about characters, information they have and information they don’t have yet.  Like all the debates about whether or not Snape was good or bad following the sixth book.

What about the cons? It is highly possible to run out of steam. Especially if an author doesn’t have a specific amount of books in mind. Maybe even then. J.K. Rowling herself admitted to having it and she had the seven books planned out. Recently, Rowling admitted she nearly killed main character Ron Weasley, Harry’s best friend. And she did it during a dark time many fans associate with a period where she grew frustrated with the series.

I’ve also heard complaints from readers about series going from good to bad. It just seems that the author either gets lost about characters or just should’ve ended the series a few books prior. I worry about that as well. I guess that’s why I want to eventually move away from the core characters of “The Wedding Game.” And move to other time periods as well when I change characters. They will be tied to my original characters in some way, though. As for my other series, it would be tied to one place. I doubt I would connect characters.

So for now, I’m all for writing a series. My opinion may change, but I doubt it.


1 Comment »

  1. True… getting into a series as a writer is a big deal… and to make it good is not easy.

    Comment by Jeyna Grace — November 26, 2011 @ 3:24 am | Reply

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