To Series or Not to Series? That is a Question

November 20, 2009 at 3:18 pm Leave a comment

I’ve come across several discussions lately about writing series versus stand-alone novels. Both sides have valid complaints. With a series, the trend now is to write a cliffhanger and leave the poor reader dangling for two or three years, or even forever, before they get the next installment of the story which ends with another cliffhanger. I’ve heard some readers say they wait until the entire series is published before they buy or read any of the books. Other readers say they love series because the story is so long and convoluted that it keeps them hooked for a long time. They love the characters and worlds so much, they want to keep reading the saga.

Stand-alone books don’t keep you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next book. They have a definite beginning, middle, and end; something that series books don’t always have. But what if you fall in love with the characters? If enough fans demand a sequel loudly enough, the author may write one. Sequels usually fall far short of the mark, though, especially if they weren’t planned in the beginning.

I read both stand-alone and series. The ones that are most satisfying to me are the series where *each book* in the series has a definite ending. Each book is a complete story, but with the added bonus of familiar characters that I enjoy. The one exception? Tad Williams Otherland series. I waited until I could get all four books, though. It’s a series because the story wouldn’t fit in one volume.

My book, Nexus Point, is the first in a series. Yes, I said series. No, no giant cliffhangers. Each book is a complete story. The only plot point not completely resolved by the end of the book is the relationship between the main characters. You can read all but books 10 and 11 without reading the others first and they will still be good stories. They just have more depth if you know what happened in the other books.

My publisher, Cyberwizard Productions http://www.cyberwizardproductions.com , has bought all 11 books. Their philosophy is to commit to the whole series. It’s unfair to a reader and the author to drop a series halfway through. Even if sales are lousy, which I sincerely hope won’t be true, they will publish the whole series. They have faith in my writing.

And for those of you hesitant to start a series, I have written all 11 books. They just need a good editing. Writing book one implies a promise to the reader that the author will finish the series. I make this promise in good faith. I hope you enjoy the series and the characters because I sure did.

So check out the first three chapters of Nexus Point. Email me if you have questions. Most of all, enjoy the story. http://www.nexuspoint.info

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Jaleta Clegg

I write science fiction, fantasy, and comic horror. I also have a whole horde of children and a lot of opinions.

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