A note from SIS: Please welcome guest blogger, multi published author, Jordan Summers!
When I first started writing romances, my goal was to finish one book. I loved the idea of writing a book and being done with it, when I typed ‘The End’. The goal was to wrap everything up and leave the reader with a feeling of satisfaction when they reached the last page. About a year or two into my burgeoning (it’s still burgeoning *g*) writing career the focus at the publishing houses shifted. Everyone started to ask if the book I turned in was part of a series. As a new writer, I panicked. Most of the books I’d written (and there weren’t many) hadn’t been intended as a series. Of course I didn’t say that when they asked. *wg* Instead, I went back to my manuscripts and took a closer look at the storylines and the secondary characters. Even if you aren’t naturally a series writer, you may be someone who subconsciously puts enough elements in your book to create a series. I figured out fairly quickly that my storylines may or may not carry over into a series, but I had created interesting secondary characters——characters that I routinely received emails about from readers asking me when I planned to tell their stories.
In writing classes, you don’t really learn that there are ways of getting around certain obstacles when it comes to writing a book and publishing. It’s not a subject that comes up.
I took those secondary characters and used them to build series. I did it with my Atlantean’s Quest series and my Phantom Warrior series. It made writing both those series a lot of fun. When I decided to write my Dead World series, things changed. In the first place, it wasn’t supposed to be a series. RED was supposed to be a stand-alone title. Later I was asked to turn the book into a series. This brought up problems I’d never faced before. There were several secondary characters, but none really stood out as a potential lead. Also, my main hero’s and heroine’s story wasn’t quite finished. (At the end of RED, it had just begun.)
I had to learn how to create a larger story ARC. Fortunately, I’d introduced a large enough plot and world in RED to carry over for three books. After finishing the series and having the final book, CRIMSON release last month, I have newfound respect for all the authors who have a continuing series that runs for more than four books. It’s tough. You have to make sure the characters stay true, create a plot for the current book, and keep the larger story ARC in mind (ticking along) at all times. It’s much easier in my opinion to write a stand-alone single title.
That said, I’m glad that I had the opportunity to write RED, SCARLET, and CRIMSON. If I hadn’t, I would’ve never known that I could write a series with the same hero and heroine in all three books.
Learn more about Jordan and her books by visiting her website and blog!
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