Author Topic: Big series decision  (Read 725 times)  

Online Hasbeen

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Big series decision
« on: February 11, 2018, 04:08:57 PM »
Currently I have a four book series going. I am working on the fifth book in the series now. I was going over some old editor notes for the series when I realized I had made a major mistake starting with second book. I've tried to mix in too many characters and story lines into the plot and my hero has gotten lost in the shuffle. It's not about a single main character who the reader can identify with and root for instead there is a whole cast of characters running around. I'm no George RR Martin and it is a bit of mess. I'm jumping from one point of view to another and it's hard to tell who the books are about.

I'm now at a 'non-satisfying' ending in the series with my last book. I've created a bundle and it sells yet none of the readers are clamoring for more. I had planned on a couple more books to finish the story but I'm wondering if spending time on a series that is flawed is the right thing to do. It is a huge flaw that can't be fixed since it goes back a couple of books. I could try to bring around but I'm not sure it's worth the time and effort.

So my dilemma is do I move on to something else with this lesson learned or do I try to end the series with the two books I had planned? Time is money and I don't have time to spend on something that I know I made huge mistake on.

So do I take this as a hard learned lessoned and apply it to new books or should I grind this series out? Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Offline C. Gold

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2018, 06:03:35 PM »
I would start fresh with something brand new, taking the lessons you've learned and applying them. Get that new book out, maybe a second book, then go back to the original and finish it off as a courtesy to readers who have read it up to the end. Maybe you can wrap it up in just one book?

Offline Dennis Chekalov

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2018, 07:24:58 PM »
It is a huge flaw that can't be fixed since it goes back a couple of books.

It can be fixed.
You can rewrite the book. Authors do it sometimes. Why not?
Or maybe you can even expand your previous books.

it sells

This is the most important thing.


1. Hire a good developmental editor (not necessary me  :) ).
2. Rewrite and expand your series. Relaunch.
3. Meanwhile, you can write something different. Or not.

I wouldn't recommend finishing the series quickly.
The main point -- again -- it sells.
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Online Annie B

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2018, 07:37:48 PM »
It's not to late to see which characters readers seem to like the most and make a wrap-up book about them, is it?

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2018, 07:39:19 PM »
I agree that "it sells" is the key point, whatever you decide to do. I would not outrage current readers by leaving them hanging or undercutting the pacing of your main storyline by truncating it in an obvious way.

Online PaulineMRoss

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2018, 11:41:40 PM »
You could always convert the fifth book into a wrap-up novella and give it away to your fans who want a conclusion. If the story can't easily be knocked back into shape, it's surely better to draw a line under it and move on to the next thing.

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Online A Fading Street

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 03:05:01 AM »
If it sells in decent numbers, then my initial inclination would be to stick with it but as someone else suggested maybe try wrapping it up with one last book.
All of these types of thing are useful learning experiences but you need to weigh up now whether you invest significantly more time in a series that, while it sells, will take substantial time and energy to bring back into line with your intentions, or whether to put the learning lesson into effect on a new project which could, assuming you are sticking to genre and what have you, possibly sell better and give you the opportunity to cross promote between the series.
Alternatively you could kill off all of the excess characters in an explosion :) and stick with the main characters you want to take forward.
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Offline liamashe

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 08:42:16 AM »
I think you've answered your own question. First, your readers aren't clamoring for more. Second, you seem to have little or no passion for finishing the series. If neither you nor your readers are holding out for a fifth book, why finish it?

Move on, spread your wings, reboot, start fresh, dust yourself off, etc. Take the lessons you've learned and make the next series even more amazing.

Plus, in a few years, your perspective and priorities may change. You may come up with the perfect never-thought-of-that-before solution and the fifth book just flows. You get closure and it happens when it needed to happen.
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Offline VirginiaMcClain

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 01:18:31 PM »
If it were me I would do a quick wrap up so as not leave readers hanging, and then move on with a new series. Lesson learned! If you feel driven to come back and rewrite the whole series later, do that too, but don't get bogged down in a project you find uninspiring when you could be making more readers happy while making yourself happy at the same time.
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Online Puddleduck

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Re: Big series decision
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 02:35:52 PM »
Give your current series an ending, preferably at least one full novel if the other books were all novels. If you don't, and readers see what you're doing, readers will become wary of starting any series you may start, waiting to see if you ever finish it before buying any. Finish the series you're on so that your readers know that you'll finish a series once you start it, so they can start it with confidence that they'll eventually get an ending.