1. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    To does of you who wrote a series.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by louis1, Jul 14, 2012.

    How did you plan it?
    Any tips or mistake to avoid while planing a series?

    Yeah I know about writing a stand alone story, and about being a first time writer. But maybe I don't want to get published ans maybe The first one is already a great stand alone, now, I ask again, how does one go about planing a series?
     
  2. Mark_Archibald
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    Mark_Archibald Active Member

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    I am not one of does who has written a series.

    I would plan it like a a very long novel. If you are trying to write three 300 page novels, I would look at it as one 900 page novel. You would need a main character to follow from beginning to end, you need scenes that bring out some type of emotion in the reader, and plan scenes (lots of them) that have the main character in situations to provoke the whole spectrum.
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Forget series if you are a new, unpublished writer. Write a single, stand alone novel, and don't even try to leave the seeds of a series within it.

    Publishers don't want a series from an untried writer. The risks of taking on a new writer are magnified if the forst book is the stgart of a series, and it isn't worth their risk.

    Put your series dreams on a dark, high shelf until you have published a book that stands entirely on its own.
     
  4. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to agree with this.

    I believe that a book that originally stood alone is a much stronger foundation for a sequel than a story that was written with the intention of being the first in a series. They tend to be more solid and 'complete'. The few times I've written sequels it has been long after the first book has been completed.
     
  5. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I HAVE written a series, albeit not a fantasy one. My advice is to write book 1 as a standalone. That's what I did anyway.
     
  6. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    woah I feel retarded, how did I even make that mistake....
     
  7. louis1
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    louis1 Contributing Member

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    Yeah I know about writing a stand alone story, and about being a first time writer. But maybe I don't want to get published ans maybe The first one is already a great stand alone, now, I ask again, how does one go about planing a series?
     
  8. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, why do you want to write a series? Do you already have a group of ideas that can't be packed into a single book? If so, doesn't that already constitute planning?
     
  9. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Plan a novel. Then repeat that a few times. Bingo - you've planned a series.

    Seriously, why are you letting this question get in your way? If you want to write a series, go ahead and start writing one. If questions come up you can't answer, stop and figure out the answers, then carry on. Whether you're writing a short story or series of novels, you're still just stringing words together to form sentences, and sentences together to form paragraphs. Don't get hung up on planning.

    If you feel you need an outline, make an outline for each book. Then write.

    Write, write, write. Don't plan, plan, plan.
     
  10. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    No differently from a stand alone novel. Write one book at a time rather than planning ahead. Think of each one as the last.
     
  11. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Agree with minstrel and yoshiko. Don't worry about planning the series. Worry about planning each individual story. It's not as difficult as it seems.
     
  12. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I am writing a seven book series. Before I began writing the first book I spent a few months planning and writing a sort of "bible" for myself, with information that I can go to while writing. I add and remove from it all the time as I think of new things. I also made a general outline of what needs to happen in each book to tell the whole story I want to tell (which is how I got the number seven). But, for the most part, I discovery write 70% and plan the other 30%.

    And as others have already stated, getting a series published for your first book is hard. But that isn't to say it cant or wont happen. I would recommend doing what I am doing, and that is making sure the first book stands on its own (meaning the first book needs to answer all of its questions and tie-up all of its loose ends that it promised to address). I will also not be mentioning to any agents or publishers that I planned this to be a series when it comes time to talk to them.
     
  13. PaleWriter
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    PaleWriter Member

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    Thanks for the question louis1.
    It's a thought provoking query for the novel novelist. [Moi]
    How does one go from zilch to a contiguous, multi-tome manuscript?
    From paltry novel... to galaxy spanning epic?

    To make a really, really good series I'd need scads of note cards (I've graduated from 3X5 to 5X8) and a file box to store half-baked ideas for scenes, characters and pitfalls... lots of pitfalls. Additionally, a huge bulletin board to track it all. Organization is definitely NOT my strongest suit! Alas, I keep trying.

    This arrangement ensures all planning, planning, planning is concrete writing, writing , writing.

    Develop a statement detailing the Alpha Concept and Omega Point to set endcaps. Sketch a vague outline with flexible, intermediate stop gaps denoting individual volumes MC will need to hurdle on the way to the finish line. Nothing will be etched in stone as MC will make decisions along the way throwing everything into disarray.

    This is where all those da*ned 5X8 note cards come into play.
    This is where MC will make this World fictional reality.
    This is where imagination infuses creativity.
    The remainder is all filler.

    Success or failure in this endeavor boils down to continuity.
    How do you make all that crap stick together in a composite whole?

    Each volume should be a complete, stand alone tale so as to capture Reader at any point in the yarn.
    Each volume must start off with a hook dragging Reader into MC's saga and finish in an entrapping snare.

    And, as most in this forum are in agreement, Publisher doesn't need to know MC's drive to produce an awesome epic. This could be a real turn-off for Publisher when making a go/no-go decision as s/he can't imagine how you will get from here to there and back again...

    [Confession: I have never written a novel, much less actually gotten paid for anything I've written, as several of the other apparently successful responders have done; so, weigh my thoughts on the subject accordingly. Good luck!]
     
  14. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    This is how I always thought: Write a stand-alone featuring interesting characters with an intriguing main plot and sub-plots. Wrap them all up in a nice bowtie. If readers like it, do a sequel with a new intriguing main plot and sub-plots and wrap that one up in a nice bow-tie. Repeat until you're sick of it, then call it quits.

    Like Yoshiko said, make it so that each book is potentially the last book, so that readers don't feel like they're missing out on anything.
     

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