Today I’d like to discuss fiction novel series. I heard a comment on Goodreads that series tend to get better or worse as they progress, which intrigued me. Since I’m writing my own fiction series (The Conduct Series), that comment also made me a little nervous. Will readers enjoy #2 and #3 even more, or will they think the story’s “jumped the shark”?
Obviously all we can do is our best job as writers, knowing some readers might love it and some readers might hate it. As a new author, I’m hoping subsequent novels will improve simply because I’m learning so much about writing as I go. I was pleased when Rachel from Oklahoma recently left this review on Goodreads for Bad Behavior (#2):
“I don't know how Jennifer Lane got all that story line into this book I'll never understand, but she did it. I really like that we get to see into Sophie and Grant's therapy appointments like we get to see their parole appointments too. Not to mention how far Grant and Sophie both come in this book, it's amazing, and it doesn't seem contrived just to get the book moving. I can't wait to see what happens in book #3!”
Thinking about the progression of my favorite series, I’m not sure if I agree they vastly improve or tank. Some of them seem to maintain the same high quality throughout, even though the focus of the story might change as the characters develop.
The Bronze Horseman trilogy by Paullina Simons: I loved each of these books equally, happy for the opportunity to witness the ups and downs of a married couple.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: Incredibly, each book gets even longer in this series! But I’ve enjoyed all seven books so far.
I know some readers had issues with Breaking Dawn, but I believe this was one series that did improve as it progressed.
The first two books were fantastic, but I felt a real let-down with Mockingjay (#3).
How do you feel about the progression of some of your favorite series?
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Now it’s time for Meet an Author Monday hosted by Lisa Sanchez (visit her blog for instructions).