Monday, 18 May 2020
Starting A Brand New Series - The Creative Process
STARTING A BRAND NEW SERIES
I was really happy about finishing off my last two projects at the end of April, and with a new month started and almost done, you know I've been writing two new projects, and one of them is a series and I am SO excited about it! I won't give you details yet, there'll be another post in the coming months that talks about it, I won't leave you guys hanging, but it sparked an idea and made me think that since I've written a bunch of series, I would talk about what it's like, for me, to start a new series, and any tips I might have for anyone else looking to start one.
#1 THE IDEA
This is where it all starts for me. I have to have an idea, which might seem obvious, but I'm breaking it down for you and don't want to skip any steps. So once I have the idea, I need to know if it's actually going to be a series. Usually I won't know unless it's something like Dying Thoughts or Cramping Chronicles, which were both purposefully written to be series books, but like with I Wish I Could Save You, I wanted it to be a series, but I didn't know that it would be until I got started writing and unfurled every piece of the idea. Then I knew it was going to be at least three books, with my new series, the first book being Project: Witch Hunt, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a series, but I don't know for sure until I get deeper into the book itself.
#2 THE OVERARCHING PLOT (IF KNOWN)
Now not every series has to have an overarching plot, Dying Thoughts didn't, beyond getting Tara to the point where she was able to join the police. The first few books could be read as standalones, it was only later in the series that you needed to have read them all to be aware of everything going on. But if you do have an overarching plot, it's okay to not know it, I didn't for Cramping Chronicles, but I do for Project: Witch Hunt, should that go on for more than one book.
Now if you're a planner, you want to know this ahead of time, but I'm not, I'm more panster, but will be called a planster from time to time. I make sure that I finish the series before I start to get the first ready for publication, and that's how I make sure the overarching plot is included or at least alluded to in every book. This might not work for you and that's okay, but it's how I've done it with the Lights Out trilogy and Invisible series, as well as the others already mentioned.
#3 MAKE EACH BOOK HAVE A PLOT OF ITS OWN
Now this can be a little hard sometimes when it comes to individual books that are part of a much larger story, but it needs to happen. If you don't have a plot for a book, if it reads like Act two of a complete story, and only exists to move the series forward, where there's no climax or rising action or anything on its own, then you have a problem. It's one of the reasons I've struggled with books, because I don't want to have just one book read as exposition for another book. You have to make sure that every book has it's own plot and arc, as well as its own place in the series as a whole.
And finally, #4 WRITE TO YOUR HEART'S CONTENT
This is the easiest part for me. I adore drafting, I love getting to tell myself the story and meeting the characters and getting to know them all, getting to see everything spring out onto the page delights me! I find it very easy to draft and to do it pretty quickly. I also love tying together the threads, while leaving some dangling for the next book in the series. It's just an amazing time for me!
So do you have any tips for starting a series? Any questions? Lemme know in the comments!
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