Thursday, August 26, 2010

Single Title Means Depth, Not Just More Words

This one still kills me as an agent. Writers seem to think that the only thing separating single title stories and series titles is the word count. While there is a word count difference, there is much more to this. When you have more space to tell your story, there is an expectation that you will add more depth to your story. Unfortunately, too often writers simply just add more of the same thing over and over again to get the larger word count.

If you are someone who wants to write single title stories, you need to take much more time reading those larger books and really dissecting what the authors are doing. What you will notice is the use of secondary charcters, secondary plots, levels of setting and environment. For series romance, there is a bigger emphasis on the relationships and the characters.

When I first started doing research on the differences in styles, I began using the concept of thinking of the stories in terms of cameras. Imagine you are filming a movie of the books. If you have more cameras, you have the ability to really focus on multiple things at the same time. You can watch the reactions of people in the back of the scene, you can see the scenery. It becomes very three-dimensional, if it is done correctly. With only one camera, you would have to really use your time carefully, focusing in on only the things that are important. That means that with series romance, it is the relationship.

Before you begin thinking your story is a single title story, really examine it. Are all of the things happening in the story focusing on the same things happening over and over again to the characters? Do you really have a lot of depth in your story or simply a lot of words. Be careful.

Just something to think about today.


1 comment:

  1. I love how you encourage people to continue to create depth in their work. It's so common now to focus on simple stories, simple characters, simple situations. No wonder many people don't read as much as they used to!

    Keep up the good work!