I Need Series 101

I love series books. There’s something about reoccurring characters that really have me looking forward to the next book. I’ve spent years trying to come up with an idea for a series. For some reason, I’ve struggled with this--until recently. I finally had an idea for a series hit me.

Here are the things I’ve learned so far:

1) The book I thought was going to be the first book was NOT the first book. I had to backtrack one character and make HIM the hero of the first book. The bonus to this is I do have half of the second book complete. Now to finish the first. Almost there, just lots and lots of editing.

2) Writing a series is hard. Maybe this is because I’m a pantser. I've tried plotting, I really have. It's just not for me. However, I’ve had to start jotting down plot points for the future books to make sure I don’t forget about them. Unfortunately for me, plot points for the secondary characters seem to come out of nowhere, lol. I’m just writing along and then bam, a secondary character does something important I have to remember.

3) Writing a series about a group of guy friends has me using their names a lot more than I ever had in any other story I’ve written. We’ve always been told not to repeat their names a lot in a scene, and this made sense when it’s a scene with a man and woman. It’s pretty easy to distinguish between who is talking with just saying he and she. But when you have three guys in a room and no women, getting across who is saying or doing what becomes terribly difficult without saying Paul did this. Sam did that. BUT THEN, the writing feels stilted.

4) Trying to weave in the current situation for the other future male heroes is tricky. It’s not that I haven’t done subplots. Defying Convention has a great subplot with Emma’s brother and his ex-fiancée. However, this type of subplot is way different because there won’t be a resolution to it until we get to that secondary characters book. So I constantly worry I’m being a tease instead of building anticipation for the characters story. Doubt sucks. It really, really does.

Do I regret starting the series? Not at all. If I can get it where I want it, I’m going to love the series, and possibly make way for even more stories. (Yes, more plot ideas have hit me since I started writing for new characters).

Is this a learning lesson? Absolutely. I bow to series writers.

So do any experienced series writers have any tips for a newbie one?


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