Are you considering writing a book series? Here’s what you should know:
- Outline your series before you write the first book. You need to know the flow of the story immediately. What is going to happen in book #1? How and when is the series going to end? Who are your characters? It takes a good bit of work on the front end, but it is vitally important when writing a series to invest this time upfront.
- There are no rules. You don’t have to pick up with book #2 where you left off at the end of book #1. You can jump ahead five years–or whatever. Be creative!
- Shake things up. Keep the reader guessing. Don’t you hate it when you read a book and within a few pages or the first few chapters you already know what’s going to happen? It is best to surprise the reader. He will be thrilled and keep reading to find out what happens next AND he will definitely want to read the next book in the series. This means incorporating flashbacks, backstory, subplots, and whatever else is necessary to enrich your story.
- Play around with your characters. They need to grow and keep surprising your readers. Introduce new characters and maybe even get rid of old characters if it keeps the story moving forward. Do you have a nemesis? Where do you envision your protagonist? What about a funny sidekick?
- Listen to your readers. What are your readers saying? What did they like or not like about book #1? Be sure to make changes according to what your readers are saying if you want to keep selling books.