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Young Writers Society
Easy way to write a successful series
Mon Jan 02, 2012 8:04 pm
Say you want to write a trilogy. Book number one there should be one main storyline, something that happens specifically to this book, same as any book you write. However, amongst some of your minor storylines include an object or a mystery, something not quite 'dealt with' by the end of this book. I call this sending out strings. say you send out 5 strings at the beginning of book one. 3 of these strings will be tied up by the end of book one, and two will remain unanswered/ untied. In book two send out some new strings, but bring something from book one back into it, and tie up one further string. Then in book three send out some more, probably something response to the events of one and two, which may be entirely different. the final book should tie everything up, all strings in books one and two should be readressed and any loose strings should be tied up. At least one of the strings left loose in books one and two should be only subtly illuded to before book three, leave a complete mystery, so that the reader does not even recognise that this thing is significant, nevermind explains all of the events of teh previous books. You might want to read this a couple of times, I know better than anyone how confusing it can sound, but is is actually an easy ticket to success for a series of any length. there is more than one way to write a series, but this is my favourite, and is used by many authors who are extremly successful, JK Rowling being the best example i can think of. Who knew Tom Riddle's diary would be so important in defeating you know who indefinitely? You get the idea, hope this helps anyway, happy writing!
Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:29 pm
Aren't the Harry Potter books more of a sprawling epic than a trilogy? I always think of Robin Hobb as great at writing trilogies, because not only did she write a trilogy, she wrote a trilogy of trilogies. They do all fit together, so if you've read them all then booyeah, but they work as standalones as well, which is perhaps even more skilful.
"TV makes sense. It has logic, structure, rules, and likeable leading men. In life, we have this."
Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:34 pm
the trilogy was just an example to explain the string thing. Its any series of books. But if I used a seven series example for this you would be bored out of your mind reading about strings haha. It was just an example,Harry Potter is a good way to explain how all the strings are tied up at the end, and how they are sent out from the first book, almost without the reader knowing about them sometimes. I should have made that clearer hehe
Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:12 pm
Thanks PersephoneMary! I'm in the process of my first novel in a series and this is some good advice on how to keep the storyline flowing.
Writing your name can lead to writing sentences. And then the next thing you'll be doing is writing paragraphs, and then books. And then you'll be in as much trouble as I am!
Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
— G.K. Chesterton
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