Friday, April 6, 2012

5 Tips for Writing a Novel Series by the lovely Stacey Deanne

Writing a series can be very lucrative for an author especially in genres like Young Adult, Sci-Fi and Mystery. If you write a dynamic novel then readers will become hooked and if they become hooked they will look for more books with those characters.

Series are written for different reasons. Sometimes the publisher will suggest the author write one to follow up a popular book. An author might choose to write a series based on feedback from fans. I began writing a series because I fell in love with the characters from a previous book and there were so much more I wanted to do with these characters.

Writing a series can be extremely fun for an author and their readers. You can take your characters in different directions from one book to the next. Audiences are most likely to follow a series. If they read one book in a series they will probably check out the others so you have the doorway to guaranteed sales most likely. Still nothing will hook readers if the series doesn’t focus on characters and plots people wanna read.

So are you considering writing a series? If so I’d like to provide some tips that will help you. Writing a series can get you in the door with readers on a long-term level. But how do you keep readers coming back for more?

Here’s how:

  1. Write Standalone Books in Your Series:

It’s best not to write a series where books leave off with a cliffhanger. It’s frustrating for the reader. No one wants a book without a solid conclusion. Each book in the series should have a complete story from beginning to end. A lot of times a reader will hear of a series that’s been around for a while. If they decide to check out book five in your series, you don’t want them to feel lost because you ended four on a cliffhanger.

  1. Don’t Waste Time Rehashing Details from Previous Books

Just because you write a series does not mean you have to repeat things that happened in previous books in the current books. You can relay details of major things that happened in previous books if the reader needs to know it. But you should not use your current book as a catch-up for all the other books in your series. The reader will check out the older books if they are that interested. Rehashing a previous book takes away from the story in the current one.

  1. Don’t Take Shortcuts with Plots and Characters

This tends to happen in the middle of a series. Sometimes an author becomes lazy once they’ve written a few books in a series. They tend to not pay attention to character development or plotting as much as they did in the first few books. Some call this the “middle of the series slump”. And believe me readers can tell when a series is lacking or when the author doesn’t seem to be into it anymore. You are obligated to give readers the best story you can. You must take as much time with books four, five or six as you did with books one and two. If you don’t care about the series anymore, why would readers?

  1. Upgrade and Challenge Yourself As Series Moves Along

Challenge yourself with every book you release in the series. Put your characters in larger-than-life situations, amp up the tension; make the plots more powerful, bring out another layer to your characters.

  1. Don’t Continue a Series When You Are No Longer Interested

It’s a writer’s death sentence to continue a series you no longer wanna write. When the books tend to feel less like fun and more like obligation it’s time to move on. You shouldn’t have to force yourself to be happy about writing a book. It’s unfair to your fans and yourself to continue a series you’re no longer interested in. Most likely once your interest fades the impact of the writing will too.

Check out my new interracial romantic suspense series starring Albany Detectives Brianna “Bree” Morris and Steven Kemp! Get your copy of Giving up the Ghost (Book 1) and The Season of Sin (Book 2) today!

Best Wishes!

Giving up the Ghost @ Amazon:

The Season of Sin @ Amazon:



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