In all honesty, writers worldwide would love to create a book series like J.K. Rowling did with Harry Potter. However, that is a rather serious (or series-ous) business.
Writers who do a book series right can develop a great marketing strategy to attract readers. Do you have an idea for a story you want to turn into a series? If so, then this month's blog is for you.
In this post, I will explain how to write a book series and the planning that goes along with it. Additionally, I will also explain how to combat the ever-present feeling of writer’s block in your work.
For more information about how to write a book series, please feel free to send AE an email.
“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.” —Samuel Johnson
Practice Proper Planning
When it comes to story arcs, planning is essential to avoid running into plot holes. No one likes inconsistency in storytelling. Loyal readers will know your characters almost as well as you, so it's important to keep them.
Organizing your story from start to finish will help you steer clear of angry readers and mistakes. I advise weaving in recurring motifs and themes throughout your series. Doing so will create more cohesion and flow in your narrative.
It’s not magic; take the time to carefully plan it so that your story reads seamlessly regardless of the number of installments.
Decide How Long to Make Your Series
Some stories need only one book while others need more.
There are two types of book series:
Closed Series – the story doesn’t fit in one book, so it becomes multiple books.
Continued Series – the story pans out in episodic format set in the same dimension with the same characters. Each book is a complete story, and none of the installments rely on each other.
When deciding the length of a book series, know when to end it. Once a story runs its course, anything else will seem forced. More times than not, it's better to quit while you're ahead.
Write a Smash Hit Series
Once you hook readers with the first book, you'll have an invested audience for your entire series. Let's dive into what can help you write a smash hit series that's intriguing, different, and addictive:
Understand What Makes a Series Different
Series contains multi-novel continuity with characters, conflicts, or settings. Each story has longer-term developments.
Ensure Your Central Conflict Sustains Interest
The central conflict of your series is the main problem that the characters try to solve.
Create a compelling conflict, such as an obstacle or an inevitable showdown.
Create a World People Will Want to Return to
Readers often display eagerness to return to your story’s fictional world because it is rich
in imaginative detail, distinct from our own, and displays familiar settings.
Outline Your Series
If you outline your entire series, you’ll have a much easier time writing.
It will help you understand how the books fit into the broader story and each other.
Find Your Perfect Writing Place
Every writer has a place where they can focus on their work. Some choose a spot at their kitchen table or the corner of their bedroom. Other writers need to have a dedicated space where they can shut the door and go to work.
When choosing a writing space, don't forget about practicalities like noise level and temperature. You will need to find a spot that suits your needs. Considering these factors will give you the perfect place to boost your creativity and focus.
Fighting Writer’s Block
Anyone who has ever written anything has probably experienced writer's block. That feeling of being stuck can be discouraging. However, there are ways to overcome it. Let's dive into some tips:
Have an idea of what you want to write before starting.
Take a Break
Get up and walk around or sit in another room. Do something to get your mind off of writing. Taking small breaks will give your brain a chance to refresh.
By viewing writer’s block as another step in the process, you can keep moving forward even when you feel stuck. By trying out different mediums, you can jump-start your creativity to help alleviate your writer’s block.
“Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” —Charles Bukowski
Any good writer can create a great series with perseverance, passion, creativity, and concentration. Once you have the first book, start promoting your work. Doing so will generate buzz for future installments of your series.
For more about how to write a book series, please leave a comment below. I am happy to answer any questions and provide additional information.
Reedsy Blog – The staff at Reedsy explains fundamental marketing tips for writing a book series.
NY Book Editors – The team at NY Book Editors breaks down how to plan a book series.
Self-Publishing School – Hannah Lee Kidder explains how to write a book series by hooking your audience.
Notion Press - Aishwarya Mukundarajan breaks down how to write a book.
Kevin Petrochko has worked with clients in multiple industries, writing content for websites and blogs. As a former journalist, Kevin has contributed sports writing to multiple publications. You can connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and through email.