1. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Question about series: why write a series, and what makes them so attractive to writers/readers?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cave Troll, Sep 1, 2015.

    Just being the curious creature that I am. But really what is so great about writing a series over a shorter trilogy or novel? I find myself not really enjoying a modern series as it starts to dissolve for me. The characters and the plots just seem to erode over time. I have read the Animorphs series as a youth, but that was over 16 years ago. Just wondering what makes the modern ones so popular and attractive to both writers and readers alike. (Not going to knock you for what you like to read/write). As negative as it sounds (sorry) I feel that it is the writer trying to milk a genre specific, long running storyline for all it is worth (just an honest opinion) . Instead of moving on to the next potential masterpiece they could create. Perhaps it has to do with trend and lack of willingness to break away from familiarity? IDK, that is why I think such thoughts, because I genuinely don't know. Again, I apologize if I offend. That is not my intention. Just being curious, and trying to learn and understand. (Please don't shoot me) :D
     
  2. Mumble Bee
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    Mumble Bee The writer formerly known as Chained. Contributor

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    For me personally it's because a book goes by a formula, and if you liked it the first time, chances are you're going to like it again.

    What's more than the authors style though, every book builds a universe. The better the universe the more I want to dig in.
     
  3. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    Piers Anthony's publisher wants him to write Xanth, and nothing else.
     
  4. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    CONTEXT!

    Really I think that one word can explain everything you asked.

    A reader doesn't need as much explained to him when a book is part of a series and other books explain aspects other aspects. Now that doesn't mean they shouldn't explain some things but when you don't have to explain as much it gives you more options. Also as someone else said. If you like my story about this girl who is bad ass but yet are curious how she became bad ass because this book didn't explain it. Then you learn there is a book that does! Awesome! Right?

    As a writer it can be two fold. Laziness / love. I love my world so I just keep expanding and expanding. I want to expand it so much that it feels real. But it can be laziness. Like you said. If a person is just re-writing the same story twice that isn't love. That is "well this worked once. Lets do it again!" which can be bad but then again. A series is a style. There is obviously ways to do it right and wrong.
     
  5. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Interesting. So it can expand beyond the preference of the writer? Well that kind of sucks. Had not considered such a notion.

    As for the whole universe aspect, they do all seem to crack at some point down the line (similiar to a television show). Just a mater of how long it lasts before it loses it's luster and is stopped/cancelled (either due to lack of material, or by lack of readership). Have yet to see a series of books without end from either scenario that has a defined ending. Too bad I cannot ask an old friend of his experience with series books (the Anita Blake series by Lauarel K. Hamilton) , as he is enamert with a long running series that has not ended yet (that i know of).
     
  6. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not quite sure what you are asking here.
     
  7. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I see your point. Fair enough. That word you made mentoin of, what is it? That is great you have a dedication to your characters and universe. In the end how does it end? Does it at some point lead to a well crafted conclusion, or is it going to leave wanting in a cut short cliff hanger? I have read another series that just cutoff abruptly 8 books in leaving me confused and disatisfied. That is why I ask of series writers.
     
  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    My take on it is this.

    Currently I have my universe. It is set 200 years in the future after World War III (Magical Revolution) this way the dust has settled from the war and I have my world with the laws and set ups I like.

    My main story is about a orphan girl that has god-like potential. She begins to learn her origins and saves the world(4 books) but see when she saves the world. She did her thing. Her story more or less is over. I am not going to keep writing her perspective because I think it would have the error you hate or might hate about series. Which is repeating itself. Her story was about accepting herself and developing her power and once she did she practically became a god. So there is little left for her to learn. Little left to challenge her. So I write her off. In this case she leaves because her power can harm people if she is near them to long. It better than just repeated threat building. You know just pulling a new threat out my bum.

    4 books but it has a nice conclusion. :D

    Not done though. I also have a book after her timeline about an assassin. Self contained but the assassin is part of a famous assassin group inside the universe. Actually this particular assassin fought against the girl that became a god before that fact. Yet since the perspective is from this new source. I don't need a bigger threat. The fact she is smaller makes it interesting. Funny enough you could read her story first. Literally. I have a draft of it. lol. Funny enough it wouldn't spoil the main story. Witch I suppose one exception. A few characters are seen in this book. Since the timeline is after. I guess if you read the other book next you would then know they aren't going to die in the other story.

    Also another book in the making. about the origin story of another character. Before I confuse you I am gonna drop a name. Elizabeth. She appears in the main story as a minor villian. She will have her own book documenting her origins and she will also appear in the story with the assassin. Again the order you read any of these stories doesn't really effect much, except realizing that obviously she doesn't die in the younger timeline. Actually reading her origins before the main story might be neat in the sense that you would feel sympathy and understanding for a character that depth is only grazed on.

    Another book idea is gonna take place two hundred years in the places history. During World War III. It is about the ascenstory of the assassin and the trials he went through to survive. I suppose again, if you read about his kids 200 years later. You sort of get that he won because if he died he wouldn't have had kids.

    Though these are all interesting they aren't the true answer to your question. The true answer comes from my second main story idea. Which is set 20 years after the first main story. It is about the daughter of one of the main stories heros as she goes on her own quest. Because of this set up, plenty of old characters make appearances. The god-like girl of the first main story does reappear too. When things get serious enough to warent it. I don't know how long this will be but it will conclude too at some point.

    I even have vague ideas of a third main story. A story set 30 years later at this point some of the characters that were only 18 in the first story are now approaching 80. These 3 is all I have currently plus my side stories. Probably enough for 20 books but more ideas will come all the time.

    My dream is to write all of these to send them to the world and for the world to love them. Then I want to find a fan of the work and pass the torch. I want the forth main story to be in the hands of someone else. My dream. :) I also wish to collaberate with people at some point. I want my world to belong to the world! :D

    Sorry for the huge wall of text.
     
  9. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    :superthink:
    I like your style (read your 2000 word Rampage). I think what really pisses me off about series writers is they don't really care about their fan base enough to offer closure when they end a series for some random reason other than giving an official ending.

    (Hypothetically)Think about it this way you make it big because a ton of people enjoy your content, and therefore have invested in your particular fictional construct. You live lavishly as a result of your series success for a few years, until for what ever reason you dump the series your fans loved. They are probably going to be highly critical of your next book/series due to your inability to show that you do care about the hundreds, thousands, millions of your loyal supporters that you owe an excess of your success too. What do you do?

    Guess it comes down to an ethical/moral challenge for me. I know I would feel guilty for not even trying to at least show my supporters that they mean something more to me than just a 'big wig' lifestyle. I would try to at least get them the closure they deserve when their series just ends with no real conclusion. Perhaps I have been spending to much time enjoying content made by those who appreciate the fact that with out their fan base they would not be anything.

    Just something to consider. :superthink:
     
  10. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah. Cerra's rampage. Elizabeth was in that story lol. Actually Cerra is the mother of the second main story character ;) TRIVIA :D lol

    I am not sure I fully get the question. I mean if I am that sucessful I told you. I want to name a successor. :) But assuming I was done and I couldn't name a successor and fans were angry? Well I can't please everyone. I would still if I decided to end try and end on a high note not just for the fans but for me. Like a 5-star chief. I want the meal to be perfect not just so the people enjoy but because I want to make the best meal I can. And logically a chief can't listen to everyone when making a stew. Because the different people would make different suggestions. So I would accept that.

    Does that anwser your question? If not please explain it again. :)

    It isn't bad to value someone that values you. If you had-- going with the food anaology-- two 5-star chiefs and one loved the idea of good food and one loved the idea of good food AND a happy customer. Well Is it surprising to think that chief might make the food better? So I don't get exactly what the third question is getting at.
     
  11. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I concede and now safe wording out: Rumpleforeskin! Damn it, Rumpleforeskin. :unsure:
     
  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ah. I feel bad if I didn't answer your questions. :cry:

    :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
     
  13. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Contributor

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    I actively avoid reading books if I know they're part of a series or trilogy. I find nearly all series get weaker and weaker as they go on and I just end up disappointed and wishing I'd only read the first one. But when I know there are more I HAVE to know how the story ends...
     
  14. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @GuardianWynn Don't be sad. :) Will get back to you when I can come up with a better way of explaining my thoughts on the subject. Sorry it was a tad complicated. :D

    @Tenderiser I would like to agree/disagree with you. That and at times I have unknowingly read middle or end of a trilogy, without knowing that it was part of a trilogy until the end of the book. As for my agreement/disagreement. I think it depends on what I am reading and how it is written that would merit me either: seeing it to conclusion, or dumping it on the shelf leaving the rest of the sequels to oblivion. Guess the bottom line is consistency and retaining characters and narrative.
     

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