Writing a series can boggle a writer’s mind before you get things figured out. If you plan to write multiple standalones with overlapping characters and world-building, then you have more freedom with plots. But if you plan for your series to be one massive story with shorter installments in each book, then you need to think carefully about how to start.
Here’s a quick list of things to consider. See below the list for more thoughts.
- Plan ahead in plot and world-building.
- Don’t reveal too much.
- Don’t hide too much.
- Multiple POVs can keep things fresh.
Trust me, I’ve drafted a pentalogy, and book 5 was the deciding factor in things that I needed to play on as soon as book 1. I strongly recommend you plan the whole thing, even if book 2 and onwards is more of a rough synopsis or scribbles of world-building that only make sense to you. It helps you see where you want the series to end so you can get the journey right.
Consider carefully what elements you play on in book 1. You don’t want to reveal everything and repeat yourself in the rest of the series. At the same time, you need to hint at things you’ll need for later. Ideas that come out of nowhere can annoy readers depending on how you’ve played the possibilities prior to the reveal. This also helps with keeping things fresh in each book.
One idea, and hear me out, is to switch protagonist in each book, or at least alternate. My Starlighters saga alternates female protags with their respective love interests as the 2nd MC. I still give the others a POV so readers don’t get disappointed if they fall in love with my 1st protagonist and her love interest, but they take a back seat in book 2 and 4 to give a fresh perspective on the ongoing story.
I also have alternating minor POV for a couple of short scenes to give a fuller perspective throughout the whole series. You’d be surprised how much a POV switch can spice things up.
There are so many things to consider when writing a series, but if I’ve learned anything while outlining and drafting multiple series, is that you have to account for future possibilities.
Image by fotografierende from Pixabay