Yesterday I wrote a synopsis for book two in my planned series. It was such a different experience, writing down what I plan to happen to these characters I already know and love. I didn’t feel the same kind of fresh creative energy I do when I start a new book, but it was a different kind of energy… one that actually excited me more, because when you already have the foundation built with where these characters have been and where you want them to go, you have a little more freedom to stretch their story in a believable way. If that makes sense.
I didn’t think I’d ever write a series. Because it seems like some people write a series for the sake of well, writing a series. But I get it now. Some stories just need more time to be told. With my first book, (I think I’ve said before) I really did jam three books into one—so the reader wasn’t able to feel and experience the story—they were just being whipped around on a wild ride. Characters need the appropriate time to learn, grow. And sometimes all you need is one book.
This year at the SCBWI conference in LA, Sara Shepard (Pretty Little Liars) spoke on having a successful series. It was fascinating to hear how what was originally a 4-6 book story has now turned into a 14 book saga. It’s incredible! One of the things she said that stuck out to me was “Leave a bit to chance.”
This thought resonated well because I’m such a pantser. Plotting for me takes a bit of the magic out of the process. It’s the white blank page and the unknown that stirs me to write. But when writing a series, you can’t just go blindly. You’ve got to know at least the major plot points so you can add each layer and create the puzzle that needs to unfold. But knowing that I have the freedom of leaving a bit to chance keeps the excitement there.
What about you? Have you written a series? Any tips? Or on the other side of the page, do you enjoy reading a series?
I know for me, I LOVE to be immersed in a story that doesn’t end after book one. When I fall in love with a world, I want to stay there for a while. But it does seem difficult to keep up the hype and make each book better than the next.
Books that have done this for me are the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (It’s adult, but I love it) and Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (YA—and these books just get better with each book!) Any series you recommend?
Red. Head. Out. :D