Sunday, October 13, 2013

Series Power

There have been tons of things I've learned since Mariachi Murder came out. But what I learned this week blew me away; it seems that these days, readers are often more interested in reading books that are part of a series than they are in reading stand-alones. I'd actually never considered this before. I was writing a mystery, so I naturally wanted the character to have more than one adventure. But when I ran across an article by Karen Wiesner (in Writer's Digest), that point was driven home even more.

I was intrigued by some of her pointers and purchased her book on Writing the Series. As I'm just now (or so I thought) finishing my second Andy Veracruz book, I thought I better grab any smart suggestions right away. One of her many tips included the idea of planting information about the character that you'll need later on.

While this seems quite logical, I hadn't thought about it. So now I'm reading my second mystery one more one more time with an eye to the book beyond this one. I've added a couple of plants that will be important down the line. This has slowed me down, of course. I thought I would have this book ready two weeks ago. Instead, however, I'll have a more powerful book that will help to strengthen my series as a whole. For all of you working with multiple books, you might want to check out some of Wiesner's advice. 

Uff--I still have a lot more to learn! But just wait to see what I've got planned for poor Andy!




Billie Johnson said...

Excellent topic, D.R. On a personal level, I enjoy series books...reading them becomes like keeping up with old friends.

On a biz level, I've found that series books are great for building audience, author/character name recognition, and also help pave the way with retailers.

It's a 'win' all around!


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I love the cover. People were drawn to it at Wordstock. Karen is a wizard.

Holli said...

I had always planned for my novels to be a series, but sometimes when writing I wished I hadn't, because it is more difficult to figure out how to repeat information that some of your audience may know already but keep it complete enough so new readers will be completely informed. It is also really difficult to reveal information without ruining the other books for the new readers.

But I love my characters so much of course I couldn't stop at just one novel!

Beryl Reichenberg said...

Interesting article and I for one enjoy reading books in a series. After all, I just get to know a character or group of character and poof their gone at the end of the book. How nice I find to connect with them in another novel. Beryl

D.R. Ransdell said...

Gals, thanks for the interesting comments. I feel so naive--I didn't realize the POWER of the series. I'd always figured that Andy would get into a lot of trouble--that's what amateur sleuths are for! But I hadn't thought things through. Now as I'm in the last drafting stages of the second book, I'm trying to think ahead to the third--yikes!