Dreaming up a new fiction series…gulp!

Dangerous Tidings is a Holt Medallion Winner

Yep, all good things must come to an end, you see, and I’ve just stuck a pin in the last of the Pacific Coast Investigations series. Four books filled with intrique, mystery and love and now…poof! All done! Time to hash out a proposal for a new series. Oh the agony and the ecstasy! Here are two big questions every fiction writer needs to wrestle with when creating a series idea.

1. How are you going to link the books? It is going to be tied together through the setting? (Think of rustic Buckaroo Town where murder and mayhem is the norm.) Or could it be a series tied together by theme? I had a blast writing a natural disaster series like that. Might I suggest that it could be linked by profession? (Navy Seal Protectors, that kind of thing.) Or perhaps we might employ the popular method of linking through family connections (The Macho brothers of Polkadot Ranch.) Hmmm. Now we’ve got some decisions to make.

2.  On to the second question. How overlapping are these books going to be? By that I mean to say how will I wrap up the mystery/suspense/romance in each individual book  and still sprinkle in enough unanswered questions to keep readers looking for the next book? Or perhaps the secondary characters in book one will be so compelling readers will immediately run to the bookstore to get their hands on the next installment? Sigh. One can only hope.

Those are just two of the big questions that an author needs to wrestle with. So what about you, dear reader? What compells you to pick up the next book in a series? I would love to hear your thoughts! 

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Suzan Michet on July 27, 2016 at 5:07 am

    Generally I like series that follow one character or family of characters. Having said that, I do also follow an author or sometimes a setting (reading Amish fiction right now).

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  2. Posted by Jackie Wisherd on July 23, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    If I really like the characters and the way that an author crafts his or her story then I will get the next books in a series.

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  3. Posted by Valri Western on July 21, 2016 at 8:27 am

    I don’t care about the link either! It can be by relation (all the brothers, all the sisters, etc.), the location, the profession, a murder, etc. It’s really the way the writer “snags” us reader that keeps us coming back! In a mystery series, I want “something” resolved in each book – it doesn’t have to be the “BIG” thing, just something! That’s what keeps me coming back! I want to feel some sort of “completion” with each book! Of course you have to have fantastic characters and LOTS of action too!!!!

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  4. I hear you, Beth! Gotta have those big issues wrapped up by the end of the novel! Thanks for the comment!

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  5. Congratulations on the award! I tend to pick up the next book on any series I truly enjoyed, no matter what the link between books. The only exception is the
    cliffhanger that stops in the middle of a story. I don’t mind a few unanswered questions, but when the main objective isn’t resolve, I just feel cheated.

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