Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Once Upon a Series

As a child, I almost always read series books rather than stand-alones. Nancy Drew. Beverly Gray. The Hardy Boys. The Dana Girls. Nancy Drew and Beverly Gray stood out as my favorites. During my pre-teen and early teen years, I preferred the Beverly Gray books because they seemed to the young me to be better written. The fact they were all written by the same author (Clair Blank) may have contributed to that preference.

They may also contribute to my ongoing interest in series writing — albeit several decades later. A few months ago, I decided to turn my two completed novels into a series by introducing a new protagonist in Book 1 and adding her to Book 2 and beyond. It sounded like a great idea (to me at least), and I loved the developing character. However, working her seamlessly into Book 1 proved far more challenging than I anticipated. 

The time involved added another dimension of difficulty. I need to have a second book ready to go out the door to my layout and marketing guy within 4-6 weeks of the first. That in itself is not an issue because Book 2 is complete and needs only a final review and proofing before I send it on — unless I add a new protagonist. Although Books 3 and 4 are in the early stages of writing, they will not go smoothly or quickly with the addition of a different main character.

Scrap the idea of adding an ongoing character to books already written or in progress. It's more than I want to take on at this time in my life. Having said that, I still love the character I was adding to Books 1 and 2. Solution: give her a novel all her own. My Emilie Hart protagonist will tell her very own story that is already dancing around in my head.

Now about writing a series… I have one story idea that has been incubating in my mind since I was in sixth grade. Three sisters, so close when they were very young but sent to three different foster homes when their mother died, reunite as adults to embark on a family business that grows out of their forced separation. Several different plots are already vying for Book 1. 

Even though my current books are destined to be stand-alones, the new series almost certainly lies in my future. Once the two current novels are out the door, I hope to begin the series at the same time I revisit my third WIP. It's catch-up time.

P.S. As an adult, I did read several novels in Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove series—following protagonist Judge Olivia Lockhart's life, its dramas, and the dramas of those whose lives in some manner cross hers. Macomber is an interesting storyteller who creates memorable characters. Its just that the editor side of me sometimes gets in the way of my complete enjoyment of an intriguing story (a not-so-good quality that I'm working diligently to eliminate).

Editor Linda Lane has returned to her first love—writing—while maintaining her editing work. Her novels fall into the literary category because they are character driven rather than plot driven, but their quick pace reminds the reader of genre fiction. They also contain elements of romance, mystery, and thrillers. You can contact her through her websites: LSLaneBooks.com and DenverEditor.com.

1 comment :

  1. I have the same editing "problem" you have. Not sure it's a bad thing though. LOL.


The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. If a glitch is preventing you from commenting, visit our Facebook page and drop your wise words there: Blood-Red Pencil on Facebook