A special thank you to Gina for allowing me to share her site today. Given that I write novels, I’d like to discuss a topic of import to anyone who has or is considering penning a manuscript, and this is the idea of a series.
Now, some books are much better off standing on their own two feet with final closure at the end. The same can be said for any number of movies. Take a story such as Armageddon, for example (you know, the one with Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck as drilling engineers). Once they (Spoiler Alert!) save the planet, there’s not really a whole lot else you’re going to be interested in. Armageddon 2? No thanks. I’m sure Ben got the girl and Bruce is still just as dead. This same type of philosophy applies to novels.
If you have a slam-bang action story, it may hurt the content or entertainment value of the novel to stretch the storyline beyond a single back cover. I’d argue that a writer may not even realize they’ve begun crafting a tale such as this until they’ve reached the point of no return, when the words have been flying from your fingertips like raindrops in a monsoon and even you’re surprised it’s THE END. In cases such as this, be grateful you made such rapid progress and keep it to a single book.
However, there is a school of thought that crafting a series is the most effective method of writing for professionals. Writing an extended story, one that stretches through multiple books or storylines, gives an author a chance to know their characters, to develop their lives through dialogue, action, or reflection in much greater detail than you would otherwise. In addition, it gets readers into your characters, developing an attachment of sorts that will keep them devouring your material for many books to come. If you’re considering writing a novel or have done so, look at crafting a series. It might just keep those books coming for a long time.