Random Thoughts on Series…

99d9fd1cb3601667df2e214dc0a53aeeIn the past six months, I’ve had several comments and/or questions regarding my series. They’ve all been delightful, but recently I’ve been wondering about book series, including my own. When I first started this literary adventure, I wanted to have a total of seven siblings. Yes, seven! I knew I needed to narrow the list and at one point, I considered doing only three. The number three–or in other terms, trilogy, is often what you’ll find in a book series. I’ve often wondered the person responsible for indulging us with only three. Well, I have five in the Order of the Dragon Knights.

There are those that will wait until the entire series has been written before they even attempt to start the first book. Oh, my! Can you imagine waiting until the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon was finished? Not me, but that’s another story, and I digress…

Yet, there are those who are upset that the villain is not killed off in a first book. If it’s a series, surely it would make sense that the villain remain throughout the entire books, right? Perhaps, we (authors) should have a villain for each of the stories. But then, could we still call it a series? Another idea to ponder.

I believe we can weave the tale to fit the stories. It would be a dull world if we had to write within certain perimeters, right? As an author, I can create my own set of rules, and I did so with my own series. There are five books–one villain. Each book gets its own HEA (happily ever after) and the final book will see the demise of said villain.

What are your thoughts on series? Do you wait until the entire series is completed before you read the books? Would you rather only have three in a series, or does it really matter?

On a side note…I’ve found a wonderful new Celtic band called, Peatbog Faeries. They’re based on the Isle of Skye, and I’m loving their music.

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  1. Anne

    I,personally, would not want to wait until the series of books was finished before reading the first. It is so satisfying
    to delve into each book and then eagerly await the next. As for the villain….while he is such a rotter and I would have
    been enormously happy if he had met his demise in “….Sword”…I understand why he continues to wreak havoc through all the books in the series. The joy of being an author is that there ARE no rules as far as your characters and story are concerned…at least when one is writing fiction. You have the liberty to invent them and situations as you like. Of course, the characters often pop out of your mind and tell you how to portray them. πŸ™‚

    • Thanks, Anne, for your comments. πŸ™‚ I’m reminded of something my editor said many “moons” ago. She told me to be careful that I don’t back my villain into a corner. Sometimes in a series this can be a problem. I believe I’ve done well in weaving him throughout this series. You’re so right, I may have a vision, but often times my characters go in the opposite direction, lol!

  2. annalba

    I Love series I gobble them up , For me it is like visiting family even if they just pop into a Gathering at least you can see what extra family they have, As for Villain I don’t mind him/her not being bumped off just as long as He/she get’s the beat down they deserve. Let’s face it We are stronger together against evil than alone.
    And NO I DO NOT wait for the series to be over though I don’t like waiting a long time for the next one.
    Have a good one.

    • I love a good series where the previous characters–family pop into the story. This is why I wrote one. And, it’s a challenge to grow with the previous characters. You get to see them–their relationships evolve.

      As for my villain…I let him have the freedom, since I know his demise is coming. Recently, I came across my notes from two years ago–his ending! Good will triumph over evil.

      I believe I’ve been doing well by bringing out my stories in a timely fashion. At least you don’t have to wait years for the next one. πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for stopping by, Ann.

  3. Heh. You talk about breaking rules? My planned 8-book Arthurian series (of which the first two, DAWNFLIGHT and MORNING’S JOURNEY are available, and #3 , RAGING SEA, is being serialized on my blog as I work on it) will take the current chronology through book 6, then loop back in book 7 to the story of the main characters’ parents and finish in book 8 with the events that are mentioned only as backstory in Dawnflight. This was the only approach I could see that would leave readers on a hopeful note at the end of the series, rather than the usual downer when everyone inevitably ends up dead.

    Rules? We don’t need no stinkin’ rules! πŸ˜€

    • Haha!!! Oh, Kim, this is fantastic! As writers, we go with our own inner flow and pray that the readers will embrace the stories. It’s the creative spark of a series that can sometimes morph into a phenomenal one. Thanks for stopping by.

      I encourage everyone to read Kim Headlee’s books! They’re sensational! πŸ™‚

  4. Jennifer G

    There is no way I could wait until the whole series is done. It’s hard enough waiting between books! I think three books is not enough, however I think this all depends on the story and the writer. I do not think it should ever be limited. If the story demands more then three it must be told even if it takes seven or ten books to do it. A good story no matter how long allows me to stay indulged and I never want it to end.

    • Well, I do know several people who will not read my series until it’s finished. If everyone felt this way, I would not be making any money, lol! Yet, I try to understand their point of view.

      Writers have enough rules (grammar, format, etc), so the creative spark must be limitless and without rules.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Jennifer. πŸ™‚

  5. I so love your books ,love them so much i would wait longer for the book if i had to , as for the villain he will get his demise when you are ready to end him, fantastic books , love them

    • Thank you for loving my books, Sharon. You’re a sweetheart!

      I’m writing the last book, so his ending will come. Knowing that he would cease to exist, enabled me to give him free rein to his evil.

      Thanks for stopping by! Hugs!! πŸ™‚

  6. Cyndy

    I personally love a series of books where they go through the story of each person, what truely drives me to distraction is the continuation of a story into the next book in the series and it takes way too long for the next one to come out so that you loose the excitement of the story.

  7. The music and sights were wonderful. I love series and don’t wait until they are finished to start them. If the stories were released within a short time, I could understand why a villain would be the same. Otherwise, each set of characters has their own reasons for combatting the villain so he or she could be different for each book.

    • Well, I can’t say I had fun with my villain, though it was interesting to see how each Dragon Knight dealt with him.

      I’m so happy you enjoyed the video. I always love finding new music to write to…

      Thanks for stopping by, Linda.

  8. Colnagocat

    I love the series . And personally as I wait for the next book , I start over with book 1 reading through each till the next is published. Yes , I’ve read the first in series 3 times now and 3rd time into the second which will result in 2nd time thru the 3rd book. Yes it’s almost as exciting as the first time through , but with added excitement due to the anticipation of my favorite parts within each book. I can hear their words in tone and deliverance of adventure. It’s so worth the wait! Everyone has a favorite movie , song , even a vacation spot, that they find pleasure in , why not have a book series !

    • Music to my ears, Colnagocat! Hugs! Thank you, and I’m honored that you would re-read the books. Yet, I’ve done the same with several book series, too. It’s amazing how much I’ll miss sometimes with the first read. Perhaps it’s because I’m anxious to find out the ending.

      Thanks for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  9. Marilyn Munro

    I love series books. The characters become like family for me and I look forward to see what path their lives may take in the next book of the series.

    • Marilyn, your comment reminded me of a series I read many years ago. I was finishing up the third book at 1:00am and wept, because I knew it was going to be a long time for the next book. I was already missing the family.

      Thanks so much for stopping by! πŸ™‚ Hugs!

  10. Can’t imagine waiting for a series to be finished before starting it! The anticipation is half the fun. Though, when I stumble across a whole series that I missed, getting them all at once is a treat as well. Guess I just love series.

    I wouldn’t have had a problem with seven siblings. I like interconnected characters–siblings, cousins, step-siblings, long-lost half-siblings, children of the original characters–if I love the world, I’m happy to accept any excuse to revisit it.

    • Yes, I love anticipation, Rowan! Plus, I’ve started reading a series in the middle, only to go and purchase all the ones I’ve missed.

      At the time, I was a newbie writer, looking for a someone to open the door and help to publish my work. Well, not only will there be five in my series, but I have a spin-off from characters within the books.

      I’m praying that readers will follow…

      Thanks so much for stopping by. πŸ™‚

  11. Odd! I left a comment yesterday but there’s no sign of it.

    Well, I don’t enjoy series too much!

    I read several years ago an established author’s series and I was disappointed. It simply dragged. Book 2 and 3 had not the same pace and I lost interest. Perhaps it was an accident but it’s like in TV series. If a series is successful, see Revenge, they pull the thread until the story gets ludicrous.
    I write standalone books for fear it might happen to me too. So, as you see, Mary, I go against the grain. But who knows?! Never say never!

    I’m sure your series is delightful and you’ll weave compelling characters and thrilling action, my dear, and I wish you good luck with it!

    With me, perhaps it’s the age. I have no more patience in either waiting for a new book to appear in series or even writing one. Hope you won’t beat me with stones!

    • All opinions are welcome here, Carmen, and I treasure yours…

      There are some series I’ve read where it lacked the flow with the middle books, and then there were others where the momentum picked up by the last book. I loved hearing all the thoughts on series.

      We all have our own preference. πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for stopping by–yesterday and today. So sorry about your first post–it got lost in the cyber world with gremlins. xoxo

  12. Barbara

    I love to read series though, I hate to wait for the next book as I am patiently waiting for yours! I love to see characters from other books make an appearance and know how they are doing. I do not usually wait until the next one is published unless it’s the first one and the second isn’t out yet. If it’s a very good series, I will go back and re-read them before I read the new one. I don’t mind series with more than 3 but I have read some that are way too long, as in 10+ books. Then, they all seem to be the same. Keep up the good work Mary! I can’t wait for the next Dragon Knight.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words about the Dragon Knights, Barbara. This was a question that I have come across many times–not only as an author, but a bookseller, too.

      Dragon Knight’s Shield will be here before you know it! πŸ™‚

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