May 1, 2017

Guest Blog: Tips on Writing a Series

Children's Writer's World warmly welcomes author Rita Monette.

How is writing a series different than writing a stand alone book? 
If you don’t know ahead of time you are going to create a series, it can catch you off guard. You will find yourself researching your own books for information.

When I wrote The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, book one in the Nikki Landry Swamp Legend Series, I didn’t intend to write a series. I merely wanted to write a story about my childhood growing up in the Louisiana bayous. Then it became about a legend my father used to tell. When I got to the end, I began thinking about other legends I could have my characters involved in. But that’s a far as it got. That was until some of my readers began asking for more.


As I began book two in the series,The Curse at Pirate’s Cove, I realized that writing the second book wasn’t going to be easy, when I thought it would be a piece of cake. Little did I know how difficult it would be to keep track of all the characters and their physical traits, voice, and mannerisms a whole year after writing the first book.

It wasn’t until I started compiling book three of my series, The Secret in Mossy Swamp, that I decided to create a notebook with a page for each character mentioned in books one and two. Something as small as eye color, or as complicated as a secondary character’s parents’  occupation, can send you scurrying when it comes up again.

Another problem I’ve found with a series is that, if you don’t want to drag a character, or pet, through many books, and you can’t bear to kill them off, think twice about putting them in to begin with. So now I have to tell my hero NO when she asks for another pet.

Still, there is the issue of a reader reading your books out of sequence. I’ve stumbled upon the problem of revealing the mystery in book one, by bringing to life a character in book two that was suspected as dead in the beginning of book one. Thank goodness for second editions.

You can visit Rita's blog at: 
http://ritamonette.blogspot.com  



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