?

When working on a wip do you:

  1. Write Linear and then publish.

    33.3%
  2. Work out of story order, and publish what you have.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Work out of story order and wait to publish till you have a series.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Work out of story order and wait to publish till you have the first couple books.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Write a book and work on publishing while continue to write the series.

    66.7%
  6. None of the above. Write in comments section.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Xboxlover

    Xboxlover Senior Member

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    Opinions on Series Writing: Arcs and Writing Order

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Xboxlover, Aug 16, 2017.

    How many of you when writing a series go in a linear order?
    I'm asking because the book I started on is so far ahead in the series I'm creating. The characters are mostly developed at this point. I've been working on this particular WIP because I'm working on the overall plot timeline and making sure to fix plot holes and other issues. Making sure things are consistently lining up time wise. I'm also working on dividing the outline into books. I picked the most recent idea I had and ran with it, on top of which it being a side story not having any bearing on the main story so it doesn't obstruct or potentially create a plot problem.
    I just wanted to start somewhere while building the story into completion, that way I was always writing and always making progress on my WIP.
    Last thought and question. How many of you who do write out of order publish out of order? Do you wait or do you publish to hook a readership?
     
  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I assume that you're not talking about traditional publishing?
     
  3. Trish

    Trish Damned if I do and damned if I don't Contributor

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    I write linear and publish (self) as I complete them. I'm not sure I could write them out of order, since I'm not a planner, and I need to write in sequence.
     
  4. Xboxlover

    Xboxlover Senior Member

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    I'm still unsure which route I want to go, but I am leaning more towards self-publishing.
     
  5. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I was asking because you referred to publishing as if it were entirely within your power. I believe that if you want to shoot for traditional publishing, you'll need a first book that is a complete story and doesn't depend on being part of a series.
     
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  6. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just speaking here as a potential reader, why would I want to read a series that was published out of chronological order? Unless the subsequently published books are marketed as 'prequels' I can't imagine doing that. I'm not sure what you're actually wanting to know here. Would I want to read The Two Towers before I read The Fellowship of the Ring? No...

    My bit of advice is WAIT. Don't be in too big a hurry to self-publish OR go for traditional publishing. Your book (or books) needs to be more than just finished. Your work needs to be polished to an extremely high standard—whether you're self publishing or submitting to an agent. That means everything has to work and work as well as possible. Get your first book finished and hyper-polished ...through many edits and beta readers ...before you start worrying about how and when to get it published. By that time, you'll know what you need to do as regards your prequel/sequel.

    If you're asking if it's okay to write out of sequence, yes it certainly is. If you're asking if it's okay to publish out of sequence, I'd say no, it's not.

    At the moment, this subject feels a bit like deciding how to spend the prize money when you haven't actually entered the contest yet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
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  7. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I have two WIPs. One is in the editing stage, the other is the next work in the series. I don't have the entire series mapped out, yet, but I do have a pretty good idea of what Book 3 is going to look like. When I've got Book 1 as polished as it needs to be, I will begin pitching it and one of the things I will note in my pitch is that it has the potential to be part of a series.

    @jannert is spot on. Get it written, first. And, in your spare time, think about how you will pitch it (if you attempt the traditional route) or handle all of the non-writing chores (if you go the self-publishing route). If you write better out of order, that's fine (I can't, but that's just me), but I can't imagine a series that wasn't published in order being a commercial success. One prequel, yes. Even a few in a row might work (thinking "Star Wars" here). But completely out of order? I certainly wouldn't have the patience for it. Besides, you might find that the mostly developed characters you have now might develop differently over the story arc of the series by the time you get there (assuming tht each book in the series stands on its own as a story - which they have to).

    Best of luck.
     
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  8. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    To add to what @EdFromNY said regarding thinking about how you will pitch your books (what your selling blurb will be) it's also probably a good idea, as you write, to be thinking about who your target audience is, and write for them, if possible. If you plan to market this as YA fiction, you need to know what the requirements are for that category. If you want this to be read by medieval-style Fantasy fans, then be aware of what they'll expect. And so forth.

    If you're not sure about your target audience yet, just write what you'd like to read yourself, and see what you end up with. But if you do know beforehand who your target audience will be, then keep them in mind as you write. You can even pretend you're telling the story directly to them, as if you're reading it out loud to them and they're hanging on your every word. That helps to personalise the writing. A great little trick, actually.
     
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  9. Seven Crowns

    Seven Crowns Contributor Contributor

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    I do have a series and a publisher. I can see how a person might write out of order, but I would never do it, though I suppose it depends on how compartmentalized each installment is. My issue is that all of the details from previous books are lost. The big picture is in place and you can speak to that, but you can't do any amusing nods back to nuance. Then when you go back and write the previous installment, there are certain constraints on you. I always write from an outline with wiggle room, so I like the freedom of breaking into a new direction if a better one appears. I need it to feel more like a painting than a jigsaw puzzle. I guess if you were very meticulous and your outline was more absolute it wouldn't be a problem. For me though, I always know the ending, and I know the purpose of each scene, but I'll let the details drift, and I don't want to lose that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2017
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  10. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I can only write linearly, and I think that is true of most writers. But if you can write out of order, feel free to do so if it works for you. As for publishing however, the only reason, for example Star Wars and Star Trek launched prequels, was that their characters and stories emerged fully-formed, and were very popular. Then there was a public demand for how those characters got to where the began in the main series. To public an initially unknown Book 2, followed by Book 1, also initially unknown, sounds like that would be hard to market, either traditionally or self-published.
     
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  11. Xboxlover

    Xboxlover Senior Member

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    I think I mentioned it was a side story in my first post. So technically it doesn't need to be in order. The reason I was asking it because it's the same universe but a side quest kind of thing, that and because I've read book series that came out in a weird order before but didn't really bother me. I'm planning on waiting anyway till I have a good amount of books on hand. I have an idea that I want to slowly release things so I can work on stuff more, that's if I go the self-publishing route. (Traditional has its own set of rules.) I plan fully on going through the beta reader stage and editing the crap out of everything. I want it to be polished and perfect. I've been reading a lot of articles online that tell you to learn about publishing and marketing processes as your writing so when it comes to that side of the act, so you don't sink. The old adage sink or swim. So this has mostly been an informational query for me. Another reason for me asking is because these articles tell you to learn marketing for traditional as well. Many author articles claim traditional publishers claim to do the marketing for you but that it's really up to you anyway.
     
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  12. jannert

    jannert Who? Whooo? Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Sounds like you're on top of the situation. I just wasn't sure what you were actually asking, or what your idea of a series was. So you were talking about 'side stories' or spinoffs, rather than releasing the middle of a story first, or something like that? Sounds workable.
     
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  13. Xboxlover

    Xboxlover Senior Member

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    I've mulled this around as well but the more I analyze my series, the more I feel I fit into multiple categories. So I've been reading author blogs to figure out how to fix that issue. Author's state even if you go traditional publishing route that you need to know who you are marketing to publisher wise as well too, or they will out right reject you.

    Yeah, my outlines are very meticulous. I have a huge poster outline for the history and individual character timelines (Protags and Antags) So this is why I'm able to write out of order. This current wip I have started out as a free write and the idea blossomed into a full picture so that's why I've been working on it instead of the first books. I'm still setting the individual scenes up for the first book in a more detailed outline. I know exactly where I'm going I just want to make sure everything has a purpose and that it's not filler. If I feel it has not enough impact or weight I rewrite it so that it does and move on or I cut it.

    Star Wars and Star Trek. Yeah, That's exactly why I was asking was those examples for sure. Especially since a book can be written and stand alone but be part of a universe and work.
     
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