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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm currently halfway done with the book one of what I plan to be a SciFi trilogy.
However, I'm not decided yet on the structure of the other two books, there's a chance that I will decide to give more highlight to some side characters' lines and it will take more books to tell the story.
Do you usually outline all the books in the series before you start to write?
 

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I don't plan that far in advance. At any given point I might be driving down the road and like, ahh, yep, I need to pull over because I just figured out how to end the series. The ending will come. And you can always think about the series as a whole when you are working on book 2. Book 1 is a great time to set up the world and the characters, and most of the time the series will at least go to 3, so I always think about book 2 as the time to start setting up the end, and that's when I can decide how far it goes.
 

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II knew exactly that mine would be a trilogy with no more to come, because that's how I outlined all three books before I even started on the first book.
 

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Sometimes.

My first try at a series was a fantasy trilogy, I had a premise, and I wrote by the seat of my pants. It broke into three pieces naturally, though writing it that way led to some unforeseen problems. That probably wasn't helped by the fact that I was writing it over 3 years while also working and going to school full time. My focus was lacking, even though I was enjoying myself.

The series I'm writing now I have planned out. It's the mystery genre, and I have a bunch of viable ideas for mysteries, but the amount of books is flexible. I have three phases for my MC's relationship to go through, and three arcs for the MC's personal growth. I'm planning on a slowburn for everything, because that's what I like to read, but if the series doesn't get traction, I could always expedite the phases/arcs into singular books and be done with 4-6. I'm a completionist. But If I develop the arcs at the pace I prefer it could go for 12 or more.

I think this comes down to taste. I love long series, I love spending a lot of time with characters I love, and I like when the progression of relationships feels closer to real life. I hope being in the writer's seat doesn't make a long series boring. We'll see.
 

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I set out writing what I thought was a short story, and it turned into a full-length novel. Then after that I realized it's going to be a trilogy (still to be written).

It's actually useful realizing that it's going to be a trilogy while I'm still in the second draft of book 1, because now I can plant foreshadowing and set up the major overarching plot points that will play out in books 2 and 3.
 

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It's actually useful realizing that it's going to be a trilogy while I'm still in the second draft of book 1, because now I can plant foreshadowing and set up the major overarching plot points that will play out in books 2 and 3.
Ha, I love those moments when you can add stuff. It gives me a feeling of, oh yeah, I had this all planned all along. Yep... :)
 

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My first series started as a single book. After letting it rest for a bit, I did an editing pass and really liked the world and characters. I thought it deserved more, so wrote two more books in the series. This sci fi series leaned more adventure, so I didn't encounter any problems pantsing it.

Before that first series, I got 90k words into pantsing the first book of what I thought would be a 5-6 book sci fi series and shelved it because I didn't like one of the characters and didn't like something important that happened. After finishing my first series, I came back to this book and loved two of the main characters (ensemble cast). I reworked part of the story and made it a trilogy by reducing the scope of what I covered. This was a more complex and dramatic series, so I found myself going back to the previous books to change details as the story progressed. Not a huge deal, but pantsing it caused a bit of extra work.

The fantasy series I'm writing now is the largest idea I've ever worked with. I intend to make it six books and spent a great deal of time world building before I started writing the first book. I have a high level series outline and high level outlines for each of the six books. I'm open to altering the length of the series if I don't like the pacing, but I'm almost done with the first book and so far it's on track.
 

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Not getting any replies on here to my thread on uploading print books in a series, so I'll try here just in case someone hasp ublished both e-books and print books in te same series.

If you have both e-books and print books in a series, how do you go about uploading your print books so that they start 1,2,3 etc. I've not done it before and I can't figure it out. Where it asks if the print book is in a series, and you already have ebooks in that series, do you check no to start a new series with the same name? Appreciate some help as I dare not press publish and all three print books are ready to publish..I've been clicking yes to that question and it numbers the books as a carry on from the numbers of the eBooks eg 1,2,3,4,5,6 which cant be edited.
 

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Decon,

on KDP it's pretty simple. All my series are in e-book and print, and each e-book has a corresponding print version. KDP also allows assigning books to a series. So in the end, they all tie up nicely.

Not getting any replies on here to my thread on uploading print books in a series, so I'll try here just in case someone hasp ublished both e-books and print books in te same series.

If you have both e-books and print books in a series, how do you go about uploading your print books so that they start 1,2,3 etc. I've not done it before and I can't figure it out. Where it asks if the print book is in a series, and you already have ebooks in that series, do you check no to start a new series with the same name? Appreciate some help as I dare not press publish and all three print books are ready to publish..I've been clicking yes to that question and it numbers the books as a carry on from the numbers of the eBooks eg 1,2,3,4,5,6 which cant be edited.
 

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I usually do a very loose outline of the full series in advance, then expand each outline into a more detailed one as I get to each book. That way I'm keeping flexible but still know where my overall story is going.

I generally know how many books I'm planning, so I can have my cover art ready early. Also, it helps me know how long to draw out the overarching series plot or how quickly to start wrapping it up, if I know exactly how many books will be left in the series.
 

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Decon,

on KDP it's pretty simple. All my series are in e-book and print, and each e-book has a corresponding print version. KDP also allows assigning books to a series. So in the end, they all tie up nicely.
I know you say it's simple regards series but for some reason I'm complicating it so I have my print books in draft and daren't publish in case it can't be altered..

When I uploaded the print books, I clicked to say they were part of an existing series and it added them to my e-book series so the print books and ebooks are listed together as books 1,2,3 for the e-books and 4,5,6 for the print, but they won't edit so that both sets are 1,2,3. All editing does is mess up the e-book order..

Have I done wrong by saying the print books are part of an exising series?
Should I have started a new series and given then the same series name?
Or, should I have left it blank and then clicked on the dashboard to have them joined with the eBooks and then Amazon will add the series titles and numbers to the print books?.

Appreciate any help you could give me as it's stressing me out.
 

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When I read the topic title, my first reaction was: you should ask George R.R. Martin :D

But more seriously... my current project is intended to run over the equivalent of 40 novels... yes, I know, I'm nuts LMAO.

However, I've only mapped out the first two so far (and the first a lot more than the second), though I do have some pretty good idea what should go into most of the first ten books.

These BTW will be divided into trilogies and tetralogies. But depending how things go (and more importantly how well they sell) I can easily change the structure and drop some of the books to shorten the run. That's one good reason to not outline too far ahead.

I always say the outline should be more like a guide. It should be fluid, not set in stone. And that's the other main reason why I don't plan too far ahead. If, while writing, something new crops up that I hadn't expected (which is bound to happen) and that it affects future events... well, let's just say that if I have too much outlined already, that'd be a lot more changes to make than if I hadn't planned so far ahead ;)

And of course, the bigger the project, the more often you'll find yourself having to make changes to your outline. Just not worth the trouble. So... keep it simple ;) Plan one book at a time. That's what I do anyway. With just some vague/generic ideas for the rest.
 

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I know on most of mine. They have a defined overarching story that defines how long the series will be.
I have one series that is a space police procedural. As each story is self-contained I don't have a fixed number planned.

You can of course do the trick of making the last book into a part 1 and a part 2 if you find you have more to write!
 

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I write standalones. If I have the urge to write on, I write on. But even my 2nd book in a series is created as a standalone.

The benefit of planning the series is you can more easily develop an overarching theme. The problem with planning is it's not as fun--for me.
 

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.

I write with an outline. Otherwise I waste too much time 'pondering' the million directions the characters could take at any given time. I have the structure nailed down, which is creative story plotting, and then when writing the detailed bits between that framework I have a second rush of creativity.

By outlining you can see where major holes may be in the story and fixing anything is easy rather than writing several chapters and realizing you have to scrap them to back up and fix an issue.

Outlining also kills writers block since you know where you are going.

.
 

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Outlining does help, but then I'm not that great at it. Sometimes when I find I really love characters, I keep getting more ideas on their story. I recently went to rework a novella I did ages ago. I loved the characters but I was really new to writing and publishing at the time. It was my first ever published book and I'm not happy with it. The outline I'm working on for it now has 3 books and more plot than the original story.

And another book I started on (it's a romance so there's obviously going to be a list of characters and it ends in two or more people getting together) I had no idea how it would go but I could have probably done it in one book if I didn't want to overcomplicate it. But there are so far three books to the HEA, an extra two books that show life after getting that HEA and developing the relationships further, plus two side-stories that tie into the universe that may spark a series of their own.
 

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Nope. Currently working on book 12 of my main series. Waiting for it to reach a natural conclusion. It still sells, selling better and better each time I release a new installment, so I'm gonna keep writing until I feel like it's finished.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nope. Currently working on book 12 of my main series. Waiting for it to reach a natural conclusion. It still sells, selling better and better each time I release a new installment, so I'm gonna keep writing until I feel like it's finished.
That's what I'd like to do as well... Start with 3 and them maybe keep rolling if it's a success and I still have more to tell. But in this case I should leave the main problem unresolved. Or, maybe come up with another problems.
 
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