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Why You Need To Write a Series

HfH [1]

Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.

What started as a tiny germ of a story has exploded in your brain like a Mentos in a bottle of Diet Coke. If you want your readers to get a taste of your frothy soda-splosion, you owe it to them to write an entire series. Here are a few tried-and-true methods to turn your ideas into a multi-book bonanza:

[pullquote]People in the know say that if you can’t sell the first book, nobody will want the rest of the series. However, it’s equally true that those people can shut their fat, stupid faces.[/pullquote]

First, the Benefits


sequel [2]
photo by Claudia & Jerome

Planning Your Story Arc

[pullquote]If your first book happens on a farm, cash in on some fish-out-of-water laughs by setting book two in The Big City. From there, it’s on to the White House, then to outer space. They practically write themselves![/pullquote]

You can’t just throw books together willy-nilly. You need a unifying structure to keep things moving in a logical manner. Here are the most common story arcs for a series:

Wrapping Things Up

It’s time to write the final book. Like a politician running for reelection, you made a lot of promises to your readers, and now’s the time to deliver if you want their vote. Or sales. You get the idea. You’ve seen how the presidency ages a person [3]? Same deal with authors, except with more gray hair and beer guts. It’s a lot of pressure. But if you string your readers along long enough, you may get lucky and die before you have to finish it [4].

What are your strategies for building a series? Share them in the comments!



About Bill Ferris [5]

After college, Bill Ferris [6] left Nebraska for Florida to become a rich and famous rock star. Failing that, he picked up the pen to become a rich and famous novelist. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and looks forward to a life of poverty and ridicule.