Thursday, November 11, 2010

In a Series of Questions

Have you written a novel series? Or perhaps you have considered writing one but feel a bit overwhelmed by the idea? Have you a proposal you want to send to publishers? Perhaps you are not a writer, but you enjoy reading historical series.

Wherever you are in this journey, in the 'comments' section of the post, please send in your thoughts and questions about writing a series.

This is your chance, too, to have some promotion on my end. I will go through the comments and post back snippets in this post along with links to your websites and blogs.

I look forward to reading what you have to say.
Read the below authors' comments in full by clicking on the 'comment's link.

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From Roseanna White: I like to have a unifying theme in a series (location, social group, etc( but have a new hero and heroine for each.
Blog: http://roseannamwhite.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.roseannawhite.com/

From Loree Lough: I've written about a dozen different series ("Suddenly," "Accidental Blessings," "Turning Points," "Lone Star Legends," etc.) and in each, there's at least one "connecting thread." It could be the characters (or even secondary characters), the setting, or a time period.
Blog: http://theloughdown.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.loreelough.com/

From Marylu Tyndall: Joining with the other answers, the three things that tie them together are characters, setting, and theme.
Blog: http://crossandcutlass.blogspot.com/
Website:
http://www.mltyndall.com/

From Carrie Fancett Pagels: Overcoming trials is the theme and how immigrants must release their old lives and embrace new ones.
Website & Blog: http://cfpagels.blogspot.com/


From Golden Keys Parsons: I really enjoy series -- both writing them and reading them. I agree with all of my colleagues concerning a unifying theme.
Blog: http://goldenkeyesparsons.blogspot.com/
Website: http://www.goldenkeyesparsons.com/tp40/Default.asp?ID=167731


From Laura Frantz: I'm beginning my first series of a family that spans 100 years (4 generations), so what others say here is so helpful.
Website: http://laurafrantz.blogspot.com/

From Melissa K. Norris: I have quilts as one unifying theme throughout my books. You can see a picture of my current quilt, which also ties in with my first novel of proposed trilogy, Journey of Promise, on my website. http://www.melissaknorris.com/
Blog: http://faithchats.blogspot.com/

From J M Hochstetler: I'm also developing several secondary characters into POV characters and adding their storylines as the story develops in order to broaden the series' scope. I really feel you can give a story more impact and characters more depth when you allow them to develop over time.
Website: http://www.jmhochstetler.com/
Blog: http://americanpatriotseries.blogspot.com/

10 comments:

Roseanna White said...

Most of my novels turn into ideas for a series as I write them--and fall in love with secondary characters just BEGGING for a chance to tell their stories!

I like to have a unifying theme in a series (location, social group, etc) but have a new hero and heroine for each (just personal preference). For a Victorian trilogy I've finished, I also have a running theme of red diamonds that the bad guys are trying to steal from the main characters through all three books. My 20s series follows a particular Mafia family. My Outer Banks trilogy has that setting in all the books.

I love seeing the fun ways people expand a single idea into a series!

Loree Lough said...

I agree with Roseanna! I've written about a dozen different series ("Suddenly," "Accidental Blessings," "Turning Points," "Lone Star Legends," etc.) and in each, there's at least one "connecting thread."

It could be the characters (or even secondary characters), the setting, or a time period.

Readers seem to agree, too, because it doesn't require them to buy all of the books ... or buy them in a partcular order!

Looking forward to reading how all of you feel about this subject!

Enjoy your week's end and weekend,
Loree

MaryLu Tyndall said...

Great questions, Rita! I'm working on my third series now. Joining with the other answers, the three things that tie them together are characters, setting, and theme. However, that doesn't always gel together when I propose the first book. In fact, I've never proposed a full series to a publisher, usually just book 1 and a small paragraph about what I'm hoping to do in book 2 and 3. Then while I'm immersed in book 1, secondary characters usually explode on the scene, demanding their own book! I know... they are vain, fame seekers... LOL. But out of their characters and circumstances, an entirely new storyline emerges! For example, I got so many comments on Luke Heaton, a roguish character in Surrender the Heart, that I am currently writing his story in book 3 of the series.

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. said...

I am writing a series set in colonial Virginia but in the western area. My characters come to me and demand their own stories hence the original large story has spun off into three books. Overcoming trials is the theme and how immigrants must release their old lives and embrace new ones.

I much prefer series.

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. said...

I am writing a series set in colonial Virginia but in the western area. My characters come to me and demand their own stories hence the original large story has spun off into three books. Overcoming trials is the theme and how immigrants must release their old lives and embrace new ones.

I much prefer series.

Golden Keyes Parsons said...

I really enjoy series -- both writing them and reading them. I agree with all of my colleagues concerning a unifying theme. I love a family saga. One thing that I'd like to try my hand at, but haven't yet, is a more subtle thread ... like a letter that is handed down or shows up in the hands of different characters, or a diary. That sounds intriguing to me.

Laura Frantz said...

Rita, Thanks so much for posting this. I'm beginning my first series of a family that spans 100 years (4 generations), so what others say here is so helpful. I have a lot to learn! Series are very different than stand-alones yet like Marylu and others said they have a life all their own and really do stand alone whether part of a series or not. Also Golden's comment really strikes a chord with me as my family is passing down a prized heirloom. Bless you all for your ideas!

Melissa K Norris said...

I like the series to have a unifying thread and I do prefer different main characters for each novel. I quit reading the Stephanie Plum books because there was never a real ending, plus, I tend to enjoy Christian Historicals best.

I enjoy a family saga that carries the reader through the generations. It allows me to still see my favorite characters from past novels.

I have quilts as one unifying theme throughout my books. You can see a picture of my current quilt, which also ties in with my first novel of proposed trilogy, Journey of Promise, on my website. I also have the first page posted too.

J. M. Hochstetler said...

I guess I'm really different from you all. I particularly love series that follow the same characters through a crucial period in history. When I finish reading book 1 in a series that I'm really engaged in, I'm disappointed if they only appear as secondary characters in the rest of the volumes, or even worse, never appear again.

I suppose that's why I'm writing my American Patriot Series. It follows the 2 main characters through the entire Revolution, but I'm also developing several secondary characters into POV characters and adding their storylines as the story develops in order to broaden the series' scope. I really feel you can give a story more impact and characters more depth allow them to develop over time. Of course, my series also has an overarching theme that unifies the individualvolumes--in this case, finding our true home in heaven.

J. M. Hochstetler said...

Oh, well, you can tell I've been staring at the computer screen too long! lol! That next to the last sentence should say: "I really feel you can give a story more impact and characters more depth when you allow them to develop over time." And it's "individual volumes" in the last line. Sheesh. Need to go stare at the TV screen for a while...