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A Twelve Book Project - How is your experience with writing a series of books?

Hi Folks,

As I learn more about story writing/telling I am convinced that I need to change the way I look at my books. Before, I was writing twelve books that would make up a series. They were linked and all work-together but I found that this was not the best way forward, for me. Now I have re-aligned myself and am writing a twelve book series, currently I am mapping out the whole series before writing anymore (rewriting the first four). It has lead to several insights in the plot structures and I believe the whole will be much stronger as a result. (Some of the plot threads have multiple layers and they will be peeled back as the series progresses). It all seems like a mountain of work to do, but a big beautiful mountain that I must climb. I hope the view from the top is as spectacular as I imagine it to be...

Anyone else had any similiar experiences?

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Hi Sean, 

 

How interesting. First let me say, Good Luck! I hope the mountain isn't too steep, remember we are all here so just shout if you need any help :-)

I did have a similar experience, though on a much smaller scale, when I first started to write my first novel (which I'm still writing btw, I've just got to the first kind of peak I think lol), I thought I could start a story and then move on to another, but what I hadn't thought about was how much the main character would need developing and how the reader would need to understand why the main character was acting the way she did. 

For this reason, and for a few others, I've actually gone back and started writing the story of the main characters grandmother, a stand alone book, which I am determined will make sense just as is, but will also set up the story that I originally had in mind (if that makes any sense! lol) 

I think a series of books appeals to people, we are all creatures of habit and I think as we get to know a character, it is nice to be able to come back to that same familiar person put in a different context. 

Again Good Luck! 

 

Hi Cheryl, thanks for your words.

Character development is very important and I think when I tried to write a proper synopsis of my books - in which not just the plot but chartacter emotions and reasons are explained - it came very clear that my stories needed to be adjusted with this in view. The main character (of each book) must change as a result of the story, under the influence of the impact characters and the strength of the plot. Its food for thought and certainly a useful step - synopsis writing and I am using my chapter maps to help keep it all in focus. The characters of the story talk to me, often waking me in the middle of the night, Grumphspawn the great wizard in particular likes to visit and I hope I capture enough of their essence to have the readers enjoy their company too.

 So my climbing boots are on and I will be hauling myself up the mountain, whenever I have an hour free to write....

Keep writing yourself and always have FUN!

 



Cheryl said:

Hi Sean, 

 

How interesting. First let me say, Good Luck! I hope the mountain isn't too steep, remember we are all here so just shout if you need any help :-)

I did have a similar experience, though on a much smaller scale, when I first started to write my first novel (which I'm still writing btw, I've just got to the first kind of peak I think lol), I thought I could start a story and then move on to another, but what I hadn't thought about was how much the main character would need developing and how the reader would need to understand why the main character was acting the way she did. 

For this reason, and for a few others, I've actually gone back and started writing the story of the main characters grandmother, a stand alone book, which I am determined will make sense just as is, but will also set up the story that I originally had in mind (if that makes any sense! lol) 

I think a series of books appeals to people, we are all creatures of habit and I think as we get to know a character, it is nice to be able to come back to that same familiar person put in a different context. 

Again Good Luck! 

 

 Good Morning Sean,

 That sounds impressive.  I too am just finishing the opening entry of a book series.  In the creation of your synopses and the mapping out of your plot and characters are you using any specific system, software or method?  Or are you creating/molding your own system as you work?

Hi Cymbric

Yes I am using specific tools for creating the series, but ultimately I am using the imagination and creativity of my whole family. It’s not all about process, though that can help a lot, there is something almost ethereal and chaotic about the creation of a story that you have to let the back brain deal with, or so I believe. That’s what works for me at least. For the story, and where I learnt the most, was the way in which the main character must be developed, they have to change during the story, by the influence of impact characters and they must pay a price for what they deem is the right path. Emotions and passion should be strong for the characters and the writer. Chuck it all in and make Jambalaya or some such, if you are lucky and strike a chord with the readers then heaven opens and life is good... if not, then enjoy the process and learn to be better.

Five chapter maps down and the rest are in formation, I have the background for the others sorted and the rough full outline ideas for the next two book down. Its a stew and needs time to brew but I'll keep the heat on until I'm done. I am stubborn if nothing else... LOL!

Cymbric Early-Smith said:

 Good Morning Sean,

 That sounds impressive.  I too am just finishing the opening entry of a book series.  In the creation of your synopses and the mapping out of your plot and characters are you using any specific system, software or method?  Or are you creating/molding your own system as you work?

Hi Sean,

Yes, I'm currently writing a romance series in twelve parts, so I know what you mean. Each part consists of 13-16,000 words, and I'm on Part 10 although I've only e-published parts 1-7 so far. I just finished rewriting and editing Part 8 and will submit that to Amazon and Smashwords, probably tonight or tomorrow. Only two more to go (I hope). When they're done, I plan to publish them as a whole, as one story in paperback.

How many words do your books have? Per book, I mean.

Hi Catharina. Keep up with your series and good luck. My books are childrens books, though I have an adult following too. I have actually written the first four and am mapping the others. So far its looking like about 50,000 ish words on average. Something like 200-300 pages.

Hi Sean, and thanks for the reply.

On average, your books are 50,000 words?? Wow. That's really impressive, and although each of my two Equilibrium books are over 60-70,000 words a piece - and the next two will be as well - I could never write twelve books in the same series. You've got my respect!

But I've never written a childrens book before. I have one in mind, though. It's about five siblings in junior high who are being called witches by all the other kids. They don't know why. They just are. And because of it, they're ostracized by everyone.

Their mother abandoned them and their hard-working father for a younger man, and they already feel totally insecure and shunned by their peers.

Then, one day, the second child, Izzy, is challenged by a class mate to show she's really a witch. If she refused, she'd "get her butt beat". Feeling she's finally getting a chance to vie for her peers' attention - and desperately trying to avoid getting her behind beat - she goes with the flow and announces an incident on the most difficult and unfriendly teacher in the school, and much to her surprise, after school she's told it actually happened the way she said it would at the exact time it would and to the person she put the hex on.

Btw, this is semi-autobiographical, and you guessed it, Izzy is based on me. :-)

Sean Noonan said:

Hi Catharina. Keep up with your series and good luck. My books are childrens books, though I have an adult following too. I have actually written the first four and am mapping the others. So far its looking like about 50,000 ish words on average. Something like 200-300 pages.

You should write from what you know so maybe this is something you should do... good luck! You could write a book from each of the five sister's perspectives

That sounds like a wonderful idea! Oh, and it's three sisters, two brothers. lol Yes, even the boys are witches. ;-) Later they come to learn their mother was a High Priestess, and a dangerous witch.

Sean Noonan said:

You should write from what you know so maybe this is something you should do... good luck! You could write a book from each of the five sister's perspectives

I understand competely!! ;) im writing a book series of my own. Im almost done with my 3rd book now. but i decided i wish to edit my 1st book. and then after an abrupt second of hesitating thought, i decided to rewrite it completely. YOu gotta do what you gotta do man. lol To keep the storyline as amazing as you want it. work leads to success. my books started as a trilogy. but now i sculpted out a storyline that may lead to 6 or 7 books if i want it. and it seems that is what im going t do. Good luck with your writings! Be stubborn and finish what you started!

I'll always be stubborn, even when it’s not good for me. lol. However being persistent can be useful. I am now writing the maps for books six and seven which are competing for my attention, then the others, then going to do the rewrites. It’s amazing how insights and twists can appear as the book chapter maps are laid out clearly. My biggest worry (if any) is that a rigid plan may take some of the fun away, but I doubt it as when I am writing the stories themselves, the characters tend to take over anyway. It seems like I can't stop thinking and talking about my books, am I becoming obsessed?

Good luck with your series too Betty. The stories do have a life of their own and our original intentions can be hyjacked.

Merry Christmas to all!  --- By the way... lol.
 
Betty Damil said:

I understand competely!! ;) im writing a book series of my own. Im almost done with my 3rd book now. but i decided i wish to edit my 1st book. and then after an abrupt second of hesitating thought, i decided to rewrite it completely. YOu gotta do what you gotta do man. lol To keep the storyline as amazing as you want it. work leads to success. my books started as a trilogy. but now i sculpted out a storyline that may lead to 6 or 7 books if i want it. and it seems that is what im going t do. Good luck with your writings! Be stubborn and finish what you started!

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