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  1. Sentry1157
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    Sentry1157 Member

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    Writing a Series

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sentry1157, Dec 21, 2010.

    I couldn't find any related threads so...

    Throughout my teen-years, I wrote mostly short individual stories, but when I was about 17 or 18 years old, I really wanted to write a series. (The reasons weren't to public or make money, just for fun). I like seeing character progression, see how they develop over the years and with different situations.

    In the last year, I've come up with a pretty amazing idea for a series. I'm writing book 1 and still doing research.

    I'm curious if there is anyone else on this forum who has or is planning on written a series 3+ books? And your opinions and views on character development?
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    As yet it isn't really a series - I do have four novel length stories in varying draft stages involving the same characters and world. Also several short stories and scenes.

    The character development is fun - I have written one character as a seven year old, twenty nine year old, thirty year old and a one hundred and fifty year old. What I do love now after writing him as a hundred and fifty year old reading about him at thirty and he seems so young. The seven year old I tried last night not sure I have it right yet but I really see where he came from.

    I have the potential for four basic series out of the four stories I have written Angus and Beatrice, and Merlin and Alice which are Young Adult. I also have Socrates and Nate, and Stitching Time which are more aimed at older readers. All set in the same world - I guess it depends how many stories I can come up with. Not to mention would love to do a collection of short stories about the other people within the books - some of the more minor characters hint at something fascinating to write about.
     
  3. Leaka
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    Leaka Creative Mettle

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    I think the main issue with a series is, you have to develop the character, but still keep some of his core personality traits in there.

    "Making your character's personality, shaper, stronger, and more well equipped to various situations, but at the same time keeping the integrity of who he is in tact"
     
  4. Sentry1157
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    Sentry1157 Member

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    It's a work in progress-as I always say :) I wish you much luck with it!

    That's how vast this one series I'm working on. I actually have a dozen stories that take place in the same universe, but with different people and at different times. Mine is a scifi/outer-space/adventure series. You know how star wars is expanded, its like that, put I'm dealing with more then 1 galaxy XD

    Exactly!
     
  5. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    One thing I would suggest is have patience with it. See where it takes you. One book I thought was a trilogy I have turned into one story with three parts. Another book I thought was standalone turned into a series potential. My current one will have series potential but not the way I originally planned. My original story allowed for a resolution to my children I hadn't planned. They won't go forward to the next book - I had planned on dealing with one per book.

    Each story needs to stand alone but contain something that someone who has read the previous stories will appreciate on a deeper level. What i find works well in other series I have read is a central story arc that goes right through all the books whilst somehow resolving at the end. Harry Potter and Narnia did this particularly well. I find Discworld and Pern great stories but they don't have the same connected feel.
     
  6. Sentry1157
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    Sentry1157 Member

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    Oh, I have. It's been in the works for a few years. I have an outline of what my current main character goes through. It's been written down, detailed and I've shared some of it with my family and friends, and their excited to read it.
    I've been very careful not to rush through it at all. I let it sit in my mind and develop on its on. But basically its all generally been planned on. I have the first draft of book 1 finished, I'm going back and adding all the nessisary details, description, do some editing. I hope to finish book 1 by the end of the month :)

    Yes, each of my books I've outlined stand out. I know its really ambitious, but I've counted maybe 15 books based around this one character XD

    I have a central story arc that progressed throughout the series as well as sub-plots.
     
  7. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've only written the first one, but I have a detailed outline for each book in a six book series :p

    Just coming up with the outlines has been really fun. When I have more time, I'll definitely go back and do the whole thing properly. Sad thing is, I don't think it's publishable. Not as it is, anyway.

    I have the same MC throughout, besides the last book which follow her children. In the first book, she is rather innocent and a little childish (at age 15), but in the next book she has made a drastic change, and discovering what made her that way was interesting (for me).

    It's a fantasy with a touch of sci-fi :p
     
  8. Sentry1157
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    Sentry1157 Member

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    Outlines are really good to use and can be fun. I think its better to write something just for fun or at least start out that way. I've read many reviews where authors didn't really expect to publish their work or expect it to do well.

    I'd suggest just focusing on the storyline, make sure it comes out how you like and you can always attempt to get it published later. I know my first ideas with my series weren't impressive at all. I actually struggled on the events for book 1 and at what age to present the main character.

    Sounds interesting. I wish you much luck! :)
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I didn't really mean patience with planning - don't do that lol More just let the stories tell themselves. I have found books I didn't know I wanted to write and included other ideas in one book.
     
  10. Speedy
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    Speedy Contributing Member Contributor

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    Character development is vital, especially over a number of books. The longer the story, the more events with occur during the duration. Events shape and change us as people in real life, and this is, or should be the same for fictional characters.

    I like to have an early idea of my characters before i begin. Know what flaws to give them (ones they don't know about, but become aware of during certain events) Thus knowing stuff, they don't means i can throw out an obstacle so they can progress, develope, evolve. Or at least try. Some characters can be stubborn.

    I'd prefer to see a character fall from grace or surprisingly see someone betrayed as *sigh* evil, turn around and be *sigh* the benefactor of Godly good (though not by such graceful means). Rather than see a character who see's his father being say slaughtered and seeks vengeance though hate and rage (continue for a number of books blind by said emotions seeing nothing else no matter what else happens) finds who they are after, and kills them. The end. Vomit

    I love, The Dark Tower series. Roland, the Gunslinger, who never really develops from beginning to end (though, this is debatable - But it is also quiet deliberate to keep him as he is). His lack of development as a being, pretty much is his own doom. (That said, Stephen King, who made him like that (Roland), is pretty much character development in its own. But in a way for which you only discover it until you read the last page.)
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Hmmm...I'm surprised Cogito hasn't posted on this yet, with his usual (good) advice that it's better to write the first novel first, and then see if there's enough room to grow a series. Of course, IIRC he usually means if you are serious about trying to get it published. But it's probably sound advice even if you're writing for fun.

    As it happens, my current project is breaking a few guidelines I usually follow, including this one. It started with me breaking another, which is to always sketch out a rough outline of what I want to do before I start. I didn't, and in addition I was working on a concept I'd never tried before, a futuristic dystopian novel. Instead, I started with one character in a situation and let him take me where he wanted to go. By the time I was about 100 pages in, ideas were flying at me from all over the map and I went back and started over, this time knowing it would have to be a series.

    That said, I am still following Cogito's advice, and just concentrating on the first novel. Then we'll see where we go from there.
     
  12. Sentry1157
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    Well I've done both :p I let the story flow and tried various directions until it felt right and true to the original concept.

    Exactly. I'm treating my characters as if they were real people. And heroes are just born heroes, they have to prove themselves. Each story has a positive or negative impact on them.

    In the first 3 Dune books, you can see how Paul grows from a young boy to an experiance man. We all wonder as kids who we will be when we get older. So, its no different for fictional characters.

    That's very good advise actually. But the particular story I'm writing, its meant to be a series. Each book can stand on its own, but they need each other to complete the arc and complexity of both the characters and the story.

    I remember thinking just prior to starting work on my series, "why stick with just 1 world when you have an entire universe." The imagination is meant to be unleashed, not limited. -that sounds kind of cheesy but I think you know what I mean.
     
  13. Jonalexher
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    Jonalexher Contributing Member

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    My wishes are to get mildly popular with the novel I'm working on right now, and maybe a collection of short stories. After I'm done with those and they get published (hopefully :]) I'll write a series. Something like Dark Tower, LOTR, Harry Potter interests me, a YA series.
     

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