Sunday, August 27, 2017

Writing a Series vs. a Standalone

This week's topic is apropos for me, as THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE releases on Tuesday!

It's the third book in The Uncharted Realms series. Or the sixth in The Twelve Kingdoms, depending on how you slice these things. For some people these lines are more definitive than they are for me. Our topic is: Working in a series as opposed to working on a standalone book. What are the differences and how much do you plan ahead?

I confess that I've never written a standalone fantasy. The stories all feel too big to me to contain in one book. With a contemporary or erotic romance, I can write a standalone. With a standalone book of that sort, the story is mainly about the couple and how they come together, to change, grow, and find happiness. With fantasy, the arcs are bigger, more politically sweeping.

That said, you all know I don't plan ahead. Much.

Some of it is easy - the big bad must be defeated. Because I'm not George R.R. Martin. *cough* But finding my way to that resolution can be convoluted and full of twists and turns I can't predict ahead of time. I thought I'd maybe resolve the big battle with Deyrr in THE SHIFT OF THE TIDE, but instead the plot thickened and the stakes escalated.

At this point, I think it will take two more books to wrap it all up. THE ARROWS OF THE HEART comes next and will take us most of the way. Then I think I'll need one more.

Interestingly enough, speaking of planning, I'm doing a spinoff trilogy called The Lost Princess Chronicles. Those books will be PRINCESS OF DASNARIA, EXILE OF DASNARIA, and WARRIOR OF DASNARIA. If all goes according to my (hopefully not too optimistic) plan, the event of WARRIOR OF DASNARIA will coincide and interlace with those of the book after ARROWS OF THE HEART.

I actually have a plan! Now to hope it all works out...