Friday, December 14, 2012

Potential Pitfalls Of Writing A Series

Before I go to far with this one, let me stress one thing. I am not against series writing. I like a great series with those characters that repeat time and time again and come back for a visit. Unfortunately, for many new authors, I see a huge struggle with writing and planning a series, and most of these problems show up in BOOK ONE!

What we generally see from these beginning authors is an effort to spend far too much time "setting things up" for the later books. They spend huge word counts on giving us the back story for the secondary characters, or creating subplots for those other characters that simply are not the central focus of the Book One story arc.

So what is the problem with this approach? The story itself becomes overly complicated and choppy. There is a huge sense of a lack of continunity in the story. As a reader, this becomes a huge challenge as we try to determine what these other characters and storylines have to do with the main plot. It isn't until the end of the book (if we made it that far) that we find out the other stories will show up in later books.

As stronger approach is to bring those characters into the storyline of Book One but they should only breeze in and out. They may show up to dinner, they may be in Whites having a brandy. They may have been in school together. It doesn't matter how you bring them in or, at some level, how long they stay around. Here is the key though. They do not talk about their own personal problems or stories. This is not the time and place for them to bring in their own personal problems. We simply need to like them for who they are and not what they do.

Just remember to "keep an eye" on your main storyline. If these other characters and plots have nothing to do with the main storyline, then it goes away.

Have a great weekend!


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