From Authors to Authors: How to Write Series and Serials
Let’s talk about how to write series and serials. We all love them, especially the well written ones. We all have at least one favorite, and we all would looove to have written at least one as such. But let’s face it, it’s not easy to get there.
First things first: series or serial?
A series is a number of stories where each of them is a standalone. Granted, they are placed in the same world, with more or less the same set of characters, but you don’t have to read the rest to understand what is happening in the book.
A serial is a collection of stories connected by a general arc and which you need to read in sequence. Each book can be considered a chapter in a larger story.
Both series and serials have their attraction and their fan base. I, myself, prefer serials, though I do read series on occasion. No matter what you’d rather write, please keep in mind that are some guidelines that should be followed.
Do you like to write out of sequence? You can still do it, but you should have at least an idea of where you would want your story to lead. This is specially important in the case of serials, though its something to take into consideration for series as well.
How to Write Series with Consistency
Standalone or not, consistency is vital. You cannot change certain aspects of the world or the characters. For instance, you cannot have the main character be a surgeon in one story and a police man in another. Or at least not without some serious juggling.
World building is another important aspect. For both series and serials, the world is vital. It is the backbone of any story and what glues the books together. No matter the genre, a well-developed world will add depth to the story and will draw the readers in. Not many people like 2 dimensional stories, so put time and thought into your world.
Perhaps this is the most obvious one, but it still bears mentioning. You cannot write a successful story without strong, well developed characters. Your characters need to fit the world and time frame and they need to have goals and motivations. They need to grow.
And last but not least: the dreaded cliffhanger. To do or do not? My advice would be not to end on a cliffhanger, though I have been guilty of breaking this rule. Most readers hate cliffhangers. They want everything tied up nicely by the end. In the case of a series, this is, or should be, easy to do. You just wrapped up everything. With serials, things get more complicated. The story arc needs to be clarified by the end of the serial, while the smaller ones, the ones covering each installment will have to come to a conclusion by the end of each book. Of course, this goes for any story, not only those that part of a set.
I would love to read your thoughts on how to write series and serials, so please feel free to comment below.
Meet Aimee Brissay
Born in Romania, land of the Iele and Vlad the Impaler, AIMEE BRISSAY has spent all her life surrounded by stories. She has ridden side by side with d’Artagnan and The Three Musketeers to retrieve the Queen’s diamonds, set sail on the Erasmus in search of the Japans, fell in love with Rhett Butler and roamed the Wild West alongside Old Shatterhand. She has walked in the footsteps of the Olympian Gods and searched for Zalmoxis’ sanctuary in the Carpathians. In her mind, she’s never been the damsel in distress but rather the knight in shiny armor fighting for a cause. Aimee Brissay loves each and every one of these characters with a passion, and has always had a soft spot for the men-on-men fellows.
With a background like this, turning to writing was no surprise. Aimee discovered Men-on-Men erotica early in life and has never looked back. After that first story, she devoured all the books she could find. And when she ran out, she decided to write her own. Aimee Brissay has over 10 stories published, varying from contemporary to fantasy and BDSM, men-on-men, men-on-men-on-men or on-women, and anything in between.
She can write anywhere, even in a crowded room or a busy subway station, but she loves solitude. When she’s not at her evil day job or she’s not torturing her characters in her latest WIP, she can be found writing or playing with her cats. Or her newly adopted dog, because 5 cats are just not enough.
She welcomes messages from readers and promises to answer all of them as soon as possible, though that can mean anything from one hour to a month.