The Drawbacks to Publishing a Series

Click this link to hear this blog post as a podcast with your favorite podcasting app!

Hello Lovelies and welcome back to the blog.

It’s all the rage. Publishers and readers alike agree. Writing novels in a series is where it’s at. But did you consider that for an author, this may be a hard bill to pay? Have you considered that there might be drawbacks? This week, we’re talking all about the drawbacks to writing a series from the author’s perspective.

  1. You will be locked into that series and genre for a long time. 

How many books is it going to take to tell the story you’re trying to tell? While some stories can be told in three books, some stories may need ten or more stories to come to a satisfying conclusion. Epic fantasies, certain mystery genres, vampire novels, even comics, can run for an unending amount of time, following the same characters through every second of their sometimes very long lives. 

Consider then, that you may be locked into writing the book series and genre you’ve chosen for some time before a series is willing to let you off the hook. Furthermore, if you have branded yourself with a long-running series from the start in one particular genre, readers and publishers alike may be reluctant to jump ship with you if you decide to write something else. 

Last, once you’ve written in one genre for so long, you may not have the skills to be as multifaceted as you think, and may not enjoy writing in another genre as much as you want to.

  1. You might lose the thread of the plot in writing it.

Have you ever been talking to a friend, trying to have a normal conversation, then you completely lose the thread of what you were trying to say? Perhaps you were interrupted by the server asking to refill your drink, or by your friend making a point that brought your conversation elsewhere. Likewise, when you get bogged down in writing multiple novels, you stand the chance of losing the throughput of what you were trying to get across in the first place. Life happens. Other deadlines come due. If you stop for even a moment, you might lose what momentum you were gaining.

Another thing that can happen is that the plot or characters can change in ways that you didn’t initially expect or intend when you first thought them through. Sometimes, we go with the flow and follow what our instincts and characters tell us, and other times, doing this is a complete disaster. If it changes enough, you might find you’re telling a very different story than the one you thought you’d tell.

  1. You might lose steam or ambition for the work or the characters.

If you are like Terry Brooks and all you ever think about is one world and one place and one set of characters, that’s wonderful. You could definitely create something that is a masterpiece like Shannara that the world will never forget. But to do so, you will have to either completely forget about any other ideas you have for other books, or be able to translate those ideas into books for your world.

Failing this level of steadfast determination, you may lose steam for the love that you had for that plot or character at the start of the novel. This happens to all of us at the middle of any novel but will happen the longer a series goes on.

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever considered that even though you wanted to write in multiple genres, you may not be able to if your readers or publishers peg you as a single genre writer?
  2. Have you ever lost the excitement for a book you were writing, and how did you recover it (if you did at all)? 
  3. Has a major plot point ever changed on you while writing, and did you go with it, or stick to the original idea?
  4. What are your top tips for staying on track with your writing?

Click this link to hear this blog post as a podcast with your favorite podcasting app!

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