Series writing has its own beauties and beasts. There’s a consensus that one should not invest her eggs in one basket. And yes, I’d be a fool not to heed this advice.
So, every time I sit down to plot a series, I ask myself at least a dozen questions that centres around one fundamental question. Shall I write a three/four or even five book series or simply write a standalone book? Writing a series is usually my first choice, but not too soon after, the beasts start reeling inside my head.
- What if the first book is a dismal failure and no one reads Books Two, Three and Four?
- What if I waste valuable time plotting and writing a series that no one wants to read?
- Do I write four standalone books or four series books?
- Will my readers appreciate four standalone books or four series books?
- Do I market four series books or market Book One and hope my readers pick up Books Two, Three and Four?
- What if I just shut out every demon and just write? Huh! How about that?
I’m constantly in a battle with myself. Fortunately, not all is in vain. Every time there’s a beast there’s always a beauty. The beauties of series writing are vast and I think they outweigh the beasts by a mile.
- With each series book, the characters liven up and grow. As an author, I get to grow and develop a solid relationship with my characters. As a reader, I also grow and begin to understand the world of the characters, what makes them tick and why they act the way they do.
- As the stakes rise, the plot thickens, and the story develops.
- With each book, the writing improves, the story strengthens and the character’s world comes alive.
- Readers who stick to a series earn an abundance of rewards. We get to live in our much-loved character’s world for a long time. This helps us develop a bond with the characters, one that is priceless and precious.
I ran a survey for my readers and asked an optional question. If you were stuck in the world of SeQuence which character would you like to be with and why? The answers were remarkable and so gratifying. Thanks to everyone who shared their views. I could see the bond between my readers and my characters forming right in front of my eyes. Just having that one person who says…I really love your series is so heart-warming—it gives me the fuel to carry on.
This post is already getting too long so I must stop. In my next post, I’ll share some of the answers from the survey. Thanks so much for reading my musings.
Welcome to my first ever Writing Musings Post! I’m so excited that you’re reading my little blog. If anything catches your interest, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.
Writing across multiple genres is fun. Taking two or more genres and mashing them up is super fun. But completely disregarding genre rules and allowing the story to dictate its sequence is an absolute pleasure. One of my planned series starts off as a slow-burning Fantasy Romance. A few books in, two worlds collide and it turns into a fast-paced Thriller. Amid the chase, it soars into a Mystery, then glides effortlessly into an Adventure before returning to its natural genre…Epic Fantasy Romance! Does anyone want to guess how long this series is?
The idea of genre fusion is bold and beautiful but also nerve-wracking. It could easily go well as easy as it could go horribly wrong. The risk is in the execution—a necessary peril for those passionate about writing from the heart. Do it well and readers will wholeheartedly love it. Do it badly and readers will absolutely hate it. So, I have a phenomenal challenge on my hands.
Luckily, I self-publish my books. Although I’ve queried literary agents and traditional publishers in the past, it didn’t work out so I decided to focus my efforts in another direction. Self-publishing. It’s a market in its own right and I’m glad I decided to listen to my heart, took a leap of faith and pressed the publish button. A recent review for one of my books made me smile for days. I quote, “That’s why I love to read indie books. They write what they want to write about, and no big publishing house will tell them otherwise. This is where true talent shines.”
When I write, I write from the heart. I don’t write to a specific formula. I don’t write to market. I don’t worry if what I’m writing isn’t the norm. I embrace the fact that I’m different. Every author is different and so are the readers. I simply tell the story that’s bursting to be told the best way I can. There’s a huge sense of liberation—not having to worry about fitting into a predefined box. Instead, I have room to spread my wings and reach above the skies.
But with liberation comes accountability and responsibility. I must own up to my successes and failures. I can’t own up to one and not the other. I can’t hide behind a veil of ignorance and blame someone else when things don’t go to plan. I accept the good and the bad. Maybe one day writing from the heart will pay off. Maybe not. Regardless, the plan is to stay true to my voice and self, and hope others will enjoy my books as much as I enjoy writing them.
For the first time since I’ve begun publishing books, today, I opened a bottle of bubbly to celebrate. I grabbed a wine glass, poured the fizzing liquid into it, and handed it to my husband with a grin so wide it’s unreal. I don’t drink alcohol, but he does, and he was quite happy to drink on my behalf. You’re probably wondering why today and not when I published the first or second book. Because this book is lengthy, lovely, elongated, heart-warming, extensive, enchanting, and did I mention long?
The plot evolved so much that it shocked me as much as it pleased me. At first, I panicked, and then I realised the story had its own mind, and I wouldn’t quash its spirit. I love to reward my readers and cutting this story short for the sake of keeping word count low would have ended SeQuence Entangled on a cliffhanger. I couldn’t have that. Yes, it’s a series. Yes, cliff-hangers could be fun. Yes, there are plots that won’t be resolved until later books in the series, but for me, the main plots must have a satisfactory ending in every book. Hence why the wordcount spiralled. So, I hope with all my heart that I managed that.
Buy SeQuence Entangled or read for free with Kindle Unlimited: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07222Q1YS
Wow! I couldn’t wait for today. I’m bubbling with joy because today is epic! Readers have been asking why I didn’t have a website, and now I can finally give them the right answer. The website is here, and I’m absolutely thrilled at the look of it. My deepest and sincere thanks to Nick Hunt for such a gorgeous website. I’m truly fortunate to have worked with such a talented, patient and incredible designer. The Sequence is in my favour.
Not only that, but SeQuence Entangled has also arrived. I cannot explain how much it means to be able to reveal this cover! I’ll keep this post super-short and let the cover speak for itself. I absolutely love it. I gave my cover designer a challenge, and she more than delivered! Personally, I think this cover has it all. It’s stunning, mysterious, elegant, and tells the romance side of the story. Well, perhaps I’m biased.
Check out the cover, read the blurb, and if you like what you see, pre-order SeQuence Entangled. I’m certain you won’t be disappointed. The cover, the blurb, and the story are a fusion like no other. Heartfelt thanks to Jane Dixon-Smith for such a splendid portrayal of SeQuence Entangled.
SeQuence Entangled is out on July 6, 2017.
Pre-order SeQuence Entangled: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07222Q1YS