When I sat down to write my first book, Meet Clara Andrews, I had absolutely no idea that it would quickly evolve into a fourteen-book series. Over the course of seven years, I've taken Clara and the gang through the minefields of dating, the joys of motherhood, Barbados, America, Mykonos and beyond. I often get asked how I managed to keep my readers interested along the way. So, read on for my top five tips on writing a successful book series...
Continuity errors are one of the main things to watch out for when writing a series. As you move from book to book, it can be very easy to forget events that have happened in previous novels. In order to combat this, I find it extremely useful to create a spreadsheet of information surrounding every character, each location used and pivotal storylines. This prevents any awkward moments where a character's history changes mid-series. These little continuity errors can be easily missed by the writer, but will leave the reader wondering what went wrong.
2. Change the Setting
If you have reached a point in your series where you are running out of ideas, switching up the setting can help you to get the creative juices flowing again. Pop your characters on a plane and discover a whole new world of storylines that are just waiting to be explored. Try it, you might be surprised where it takes you...
3. Change Your Perspective
As above, when you feel as though your storyline is becoming stale, consider telling the story from another character's perspective. Simply looking at things from someone else's point of view can bring a whole new dynamic to your series.
4. Listen to Your Reviews
No writer likes to read negative reviews on their work and I am no exception. However, there is a difference between destructive reviews and constructive reviews. Constructive criticism can play a crucial role in deciding where to take your story to next. If your readers show a strong liking for a particular character, focus your narrative around them and consider leaving the more unpopular characters behind.
5. Keep Improving
Aim to make each addition to the series better than the last. One of the biggest concerns for me is losing the reader's interest as the story progresses. Putting as much effort into the next book as you did to the first is essential. If you lose interest in your story, the chances are so will your readers. Keep it fresh, keep it current and always keep the passion that inspired you to put pen to paper in the first place.
There aren't any rules on how long your book series should be. If your readers are still wanting more, you can rest assured that you're onto a winning formula. If it isn't broke, don't fix it!
If you have any tips of your own for writing a successful book series, please share them below!