Psyched for Romance

Sports Romance & Romantic Suspense With a Psychological Twist

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

#IWSG: To Series or Not To Series


Thanks to author ninja Alex Cavanaugh for his brainchild:


I want to hear your experiences with writing series. Love 'em? Hate 'em?

I have written one stand-alone New Adult sports romance and one romantic suspense trilogy. I'm considering turning my upcoming NA volleyball romance Blocked into a series.

So I have some writerly questions for you, in my deliberations. Feel free to answer none, one, or more!

1. Do you prefer to read stand-alone novels or series? Why?

2. Have you ever written a series (or plan to write one)? If so, when in the process did you realize you wanted to write a series?

3. If you like series, do you prefer the same characters as protagonists or new main characters featuring "spin-offs" in subsequent novels?

4. How do you decide to write a stand-alone or a series?

5. How many books are ideal for a series? When does a series get too long for you?

THANK YOU! Write on, my friends.


18 comments:

Nicki Elson said...

I have commitment issues, so I haven't read many series and so far haven't been able to complete writing any sequels - so I'm probably not the best person to get and opinion from on this. Series seem to be very popular these days, so I'm clearly out of the mainstream on this.

Miranda Hardy said...

Yes, I'm writing several series, but I prefer a series when the books aren't released too far apart.

Jennifer Lane said...

Nicki, my commitment issues are more about men than about series, but I have them too. :-)

Jennifer Lane said...

Good point, Miranda. I did like the challenge of writing a series, though it took many years of my life and it was tough to build momentum with such a lag time between releases.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Let's see if I can answer those before my brain turns to IWSG much.
1 - Either
2 - Yes, and when fans demanded a second book
3 - I like the same characters
4 - I just wanted to write one and never planned on more - it just sort of happened
5 - Three - when you hit Robert Jordan level, that's way too many

Feather Stone said...

The first (and last) series I read was Jean Auel's books which started with the Clan of the Cave Bear. I loved it so much. I waited and waited for the next novel living in frustration to know what was going to happen to the main character. It felt like years between each book in the series. I vowed to not read a series again.

ninjallamaempress said...

I write a series but when I started the first book, I didn't realize it. Believe me, I didn't set out to write a series. I didn't think I had it in me to keep a story going for five books. But when your characters talk, you listn. And they were telling me it ran deeper than I thought. Basically, we writers think we're in control. Sometimes we get surprised. Love your "Why I Write # 85" btw.

Kelsey Ketch said...

I think series are harder to part with. You get so connected with the characters. But I still write both. It just depends what the story line tells me at the very beginning, when I'm outlining the plot. I try for no more than three, but there are two series I plan on writing that might four. Again, it depends what the story tells me it wants. :)

Kelsey Ketch said...

I think series are harder to part with. You get so connected with the characters. But I still write both. It just depends what the story line tells me at the very beginning, when I'm outlining the plot. I try for no more than three, but there are two series I plan on writing that might four. Again, it depends what the story tells me it wants. :)

Aldrea Alien said...

Hoo, that's a lot of questions...

1. I love series generally because of the chance to connect with the characters and see them grow over a longer period. It's like meeting old friends.
I also have a habit of an collecting most of, if not an entire, series before reading them.

2. The short answer to this is: yes. I realise it was a series when I had to break up the mammoth story it'd become.

3. I'm good either way. In fact, some of my favourite stories have new characters gradually take over a story. So long as the old characters get closure, I'm willing to move on.

4. I don't decide anything. I start off writing a stand-alone that gains a sequel, which gains a sequel until the idea process stops...
Or, in the case of my first book, I wrote it as one big stand-alone.

5. Four/Five is my ideal series length. Trilogies just don't seem to mesh as a definition of a series to me (don't ask why). The length gets too long when they start to bore me ... which I realise doesn't really translate to a number.

Cherie Colyer said...

I enjoy writing series. Although I don't set out to do this. When I'm writing a book, I often weave in details that are important to the future because I know what's next in my characters' lives. Take for instance Isaac's bedroom in Embrace. While the iron fixtures don't play a big role in book one, they do in book two. And even though I wasn't sure if I'd turn Embrace into a series, I did know
what had to be in the book if I did.

When I decided to write Hold Tight, coming back to Madison and her friends was fun. It was like visiting old friends. As far as how many books should be in a series, I think that just depends on how many different stories there are to tell. And as a reader, I'm okay if the POV for the books shifts to different characters, as long as they are interesting. If the readers of my series are any indication, others are too. (I have readers asking me if I'll do a book from Kaylee's POV. One day, I may.)

Jennifer Lane said...

Impressive that you answered them all, Alex! I'm reading a romantic suspense series that's up to 6 books and I'm still loving the hell out of it, but I can see how some series get overlong.

Jennifer Lane said...

Feather, I LOVED Clan of the Cave Bear! I can't remember how many subsequent books I read but they didn't hold the same magic for me, unfortunately. I guess that's one downside of some series--they don't live up to their original.

Jennifer Lane said...

Ninjalama Empress, 5 books is quite the feat! I had no idea I was writing a series when I started the first novel that actually made it to publication, either.

Jennifer Lane said...

Kelsey, are you saying Seth and Nattie might be around for four? Great news! I do love connecting with my favorite characters again, like in the Hopeless series by Colleen Hoover.

Jennifer Lane said...

Aldrea, that's a good point about wanting enough time to witness true character growth. And another good point about some characters stealing the show as you write--characters demanding their own spotlight, dammit! Thanks for stopping by.

Jennifer Lane said...

Cherie, that's awesome you have the foresight to weave in details and reveal their meaning in later books. You're right that writing series feels like returning to old friends. :-)

Rumer Haven said...

Those of you who've written series have my ever-constant awe. I have yet to come up with a storyworld that could have that kind of staying power...as much as I miss my characters after a standalone manuscript is written, their voices go quiet, no longer beckoning me to be the scribe of their lives. Alas. :)

 


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