How do we bring continuity to a book series? I really want to do my books in a series because if my readers like the characters in my first book, they will buy the books that follow. This is a question I am currently facing - my current WIP is the first of a series of three books, which will be followed by a series of cozy mysteries. That is another issue! My first mystery book was "supposed" to be a cozy mystery, and it took a very sharp turn right from the beginning into the land of metaphysics and distant viewing!
I have no problem with having enough content and storyline to justify a series - I can take the same characters and put them in 1001 different situations. And I have defined what my series will be based on. My first series, based on my WIP, is a storyline that arcs over all three books. My second series, the cozy mysteries, will feature the same characters with storylines that resolve within each book. IOW - each book is a "stand-alone".
Here are some of the things that I am looking at that will help bring continuity to my book series:
- Have a good foundation for my stories, and enough of a storyline to justify a series.
- Use recurring themes throughout the series.
- Portray my characters in the same manner in each book in the series - they will grow, but they will also have the same background, likes/dislikes, and shadows that they did in the first book.
- Remember what you have presented in your previous books - life events, how a character speaks, what motivates each character, and what each character's perspective on life is.
My aim is to publish at least one book a year, so my readers don't get antsy and wander away! I also think that leaving a few loose ends might be a good thing - keep my readers wondering. My aim will also be to make each story different - if I keep telling the same story in different ways, that story will get old fast!
Looking at all of the above, I realize that my character bible is going to be a very important tool in keeping my characters straight from book to book. What they say and how they react in one book has to pretty much stay the same in future books in the series. I don't want readers saying "So and so said this in book one, and this in book three. Which did they really mean?" That is a rabbit hole that I do not want to go down!
(c) June 2019 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.