Planning Your Novel Series, Part 3

No matter how many titles are in a series, each book must weave in any threads necessary to get your reader up to speed without sounding like a synopsis.

Occasionally, book series become unexpectedly popular, and no one—reader, writer, publisher—wants the story to end. While each book must satisfy its individual story question, if you’re smart you’ll anticipate future books and consider character growth, spiritual growth, and complicating situations your characters will encounter should the series extend.

Closing a series

  • Save some good stuff: If you’re writing a trilogy, don’t give away all the good stuff in Book One. Save enough meat to end well.
  • Special considerations: If your series is historical , you can add more action during the same time period without sacrificing your story line.
  • Create a strong ensemble cast: Make sure your characters grow in each book, while leaving room for them to continue to mature.

End on top
Better to end strong and satisfy readers than to string out a story that should have concluded one book earlier. Know when to wrap it up.

React: What is your favorite aspect of reading—or writing—a series?

Photo: Sandra ByrdAfter earning her first rejection at 13, bestselling author Sandra Byrd published more than three dozen books. Her adult fiction debut, Let Them Eat Cake, was a Christy Award finalist. Library Journal called her historical novel, To Die For: A Novel of Anne Boleyn, one of the best books of 2011. Sandra’s YA fiction, Asking for Trouble, was a finalist for the ECPA Medallion of Excellence award. Sandra is passionate about helping new writers develop their talent and take hold of their dreams. Please visit her online.

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