Return to Content How to write a series: Here are some points to keep in mind:
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Rachel Scheller September 10, One of the main concerns writers should have when planning and writing a series is consistency. But what does it mean to be consistent? Why is this so important? Wiesner discusses the five major red flags of inconsistency—and what you can do to prevent them in your own fiction series.
A deus ex machina situation is one in which an improbable event or element is introduced into a story to resolve all the problematic situations and bring the story to a close.
In a conventional Greek tragedy the producers actually lowered an actor playing a god onto the stage at the end of the play and he resolved all the conflicts.
Talk about unsatisfying for the audience! Any author worth his salt needs to create plausible backstory and motivation for every action, and she has to make characters heroic enough to solve their own problems. In other words, you go from one situation to the next without any explanation for the radical change.
If you want something to be believable, you need to set it up logically and you need to set it up early enough so it will be readily accepted by the reader.
That absolutely requires advance planning. Changed Premise This category includes information given in one episode that directly contradicts information in another. In a series this can be fatal.
If your book series has a Changed Premise from one book to the next, readers will lose respect. If anything concerning character, plot, or setting conflicts with something that was previously established, it would fit under the Changed Premise heading.
Names and jobs can also accidentally change through the course of a series. For instance, in The X-Files both main characters used cell phones throughout most of the series, but the phones were used inconsistently, in ways that forced the viewers to question the logic.
In one episode, Mulder was trapped underground in the middle of a desert called Nowhere—was there actually a cell phone tower nearby that allowed him to get good reception? Continuity and Production Issues Again, in both The X-Files and Star Trek, errors often crept up as a direct result of someone on staff not checking the manual or previous episodes before going ahead with the episode.
How often was a setting shot reused and only slightly altered in Star Trek because coming up with something new would have been expensive or time consuming? Not only that, but the Romulans also used Klingon weapons. Readers will feel your impatience and probably wonder why you skimped.
If you give a character two birthdays or have him get younger instead of older as a series progresses, these are less crucial issues but nevertheless problems. Unanswered Questions If the author is never going to answer a nagging question, why invest anything, especially time and passion, in the series?
While each book in the series must have satisfactory individual story arc resolutions, all series-arc questions must be answered in the final book of the series or readers will be furious, perhaps enough to ban you as an author for life.
Do it now and take heed!
Think of it this way:Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series is a standalone series, in which each book presents its own independent adventure, even as the story’s overarching goal of “defeat Napoleon” continues from book to book.
The novel that I’m writing is part of a series that I currently have 10 books planned out for. The first book of this series incorporates 26 chapters (so far) of the main storyline and 10 flashback chapters that explain the background of one the characters, who is the main protagonist of the series.
Dec 19, · While most books in a series are published separately from one another, there is a growing trend for publishers to hold on to an author’s series and publish all entries together, one per year, or even in quick succession.
Learning how to write a series presents several pitfalls. Here are some points to keep in mind: Here are some points to keep in mind: Fantasy and science fiction series differ from mystery series: Mystery series tend to tell a single self-contained story in each novel although the .
Ultimate Guide: How To Write A Series. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether you should write a series or stick to a standalone book.
1. Is my genre suited to a series? Writing a series of novels takes things to a whole new level. Before you launch into a series – whether it be a duology, a trilogy or a sprawling ten-part.
I did write Pentecost with a series in mind but I failed to prevent some of the continuation issues I am now facing with the second book in the series, Prophecy. Here are my issues and suggestions on how you can avoid the same pitfalls.