Welcome back to another blog hop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
At first, I was just trying to get the story out of my head. I didn’t really think about writing a series, or even a second book.
As my writing developed, I had more ideas than I could fit into a single universe. New characters and situations flowed from my mind. I branched out. I went from only writing straight space opera to include steampunk and even an amateur detective series.
Each novel I wrote went the same way. I would type the end, then have a fantastic idea for another adventure with the same characters.
I now have four series, by which I mean more than two books in the same setting and timeline.
And the ideas kept coming, every book that I wrote started off as a standalone, yet most of them have sequels or prequels. If I haven’t written them yet, the ideas exist, the stories are in the queue. Some also have spin-off titles, featuring either the main players or minor characters who had a story to tell.
Some of THESE spin-off’s now have sequels of their own.
Before you realise what’s going on, the whole thing multiplies. While it’s true that not all my series are connected, there are lots of similarities in the technology and world-building between them. So, if you like one of my books (or series) and try another, you’ll find a touch of familiarity, the odd reference to what’s been going on elsewhere. Although the stories themselves, and their settings, are quite different.
While I love all my series, I like to think that any of my novels stands on its own merit, I’ve tried to make sure that they all can be read without needing to refer to any of the others.
And the advantage of writing several stories in a series, as far as I can tell, are this.
Write a stand-alone book and when you write another, there’s no guarantee that the people who enjoyed the first one will want to read it.
Write a sequel and create a series and (providing it’s good enough) the people who read the first one will almost certainly want to read them all.
If you can write a series where all the stories are self-contained, one where you can join the adventure at any point and explore in any direction, then you have the perfect recipe for attracting readers.
How about you, do you prefer series or unconnected stand-alone stories?
Let me know what you think about this week’s subject.
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Now check out all the other blogs in this hop by clicking below.