Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Tie That Binds--Make Mine a Triple

Every unpublished writer dreams of becoming an author. The thought of holding my first published book in my hands used to be enough to bring a smile to my face on even the worst of days. It was the the goal I worked to attain. Now, I find that I have become jaded thanks to the likes of Linda Howard, Nora Roberts and even our own Christy Reece.

Now when I dream of becoming published, I want a three book deal. One is just simply not enough for me. Yes, I am greedy. It's not the money, I tell myself. I want the continuity of characters who are introduced in one book, continued and expanded upon in the next book. Characters and/or situations that we can identify with and come to love.

I guess that's why I find myself the owner of the White Oak series from Mazo De La Roche. I had to follow each generation of this family reading about their lives for over two hundred years. They became familiar to me and I loved seeing how they fared.

It's also why Sue Grafton is now on book number twenty in her alphabet series. We love her character and like revisiting with Kinsey and all her friends. Still, with only five letters left, I have to wonder what she is considering next? Will it be a numbered series? Based on colors? Or, perhaps an organization that she will weave through several books?

There seems to be a trend towards books that are part of a series. It makes sense for the publisher--it's easier to market. I like picking up a book from an author who has a theme carried through several books and I am crafting my novels with that in mind.

Is this a ploy you use in your writing? If so, what is the common thread that runs through each book?


Piedmont Writer said...

I like series and I like writing series. To me it's about creating a family, whether with a group of friends who have adventures, or a real family where the love and passion and drama creates the story they're trying to tell.

JoAnn said...

I love reading series books. Like you, when I invest emotion, energy, and time in characters, 100K words are just not enough. However, I'm not sure I could ever actually write a series. It's all I can do to get one book done!

Callie James said...

Same as you, I like reading series so I tend to write them. Is it a ploy? Not really. It's not intentional. I just have bigger stories in mind than one book can hold.

Jeanie said...

I, too, tend to write in series mode. I fall in love with my characters and don't want to let them go! The series I'm working on is set in the same town with recurring secondary characters, but a new hero/heroine in each book. I like the familiarity of going back to that place. Kind of like going home.

Christine said...

My current WIP in Revision has gone from being a stand alone Category Romance to a stretched out Single Title with suspenseful elements (still working out the details on that monster). Even tho' I still haven't worked out the revision details, I have discovered that this story is really three stories. Oh my. But the first one will stand alone if necessary.

It'll be my crazy baby until I have triplets I guess. And I have a 7 book series in outline, rough sketch form for a YA idea I had a while ago.

Sigh. We'll see how that goes.

Kat Jones said...

I like reading series as well. Its easy to become invested in the characters, waiting to see what they do next. One of my favorite series is Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Series. I don't think its really a ploy, but as Callie pointed out, the story turns into something bigger than one book can carry.

M.V.Freeman said...

Actually I never intended to write a series, my story just evolved from that.

But, honestly, if I like a character, I want to read more about them.

Interesting to ponder that topic though...

Carla Swafford said...

There are actually two types of series. One where you have a town or an organization that we get to see different characters as they main ones in each book. Those are normally treated as stand alones, but are enjoyed more when read in sequence. A la Christy Reece's Last Rescue organization.

Then there are those books that are connected by one main character and several secondary characters revolving her/him. They're usually written in first person. A la Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake.

I love both types. Though presently I have too many of the 2nd I'm reading, and now I'm trying to not add to that list. Too expensive and addictive.

For myself, I love to write the first type. You already have your world set up with all the rules and such. Then it's like a soap opera without all the mixing up of too many stories at once. And you can explore so many personalities without hammering at one.

Jeanie said...

Well said, Carla. The series I am writing happens to be like that, and you're right. It's fun to revisit old characters and hammer out new ones in the same setting.

Christine said...

Carla: I am writing the first type of series. Each can stand alone. I am interested in the people populating the place.

Sigh--now to sell one LOL.