Creative Writing 101,  Facts of Life,  Indie Author Life,  Work-In-Progress,  Writing Journey

Once Upon A Series Attempt

Don’t get too excited by the title. LOL! 😀

So, as you may or may not know, I’m editing the next book (HOUSE OF FALLING EMBERS, due out October 1st!!), and this is always a good time for me to brainstorm and outline and plan since there’s no real pressure to settle on anything, and I’m all relaxed and stuff.

Well, I’ve come to the realization that there’s been some kind of mental block when it comes to me and writing even a two-part series. At first I thought I was just running scared. After all, I’ve never finished a sequel before. It must be jitters, right?

But THEN, I had a thought, in the bathroom, where most good thoughts happen: I’m like the Stand-Alone Queen over here, and I love it.

The fact that I suddenly had three duologies on hand bothered me to the point where I knew there must be something wrong.

Long story short: I think I was unconsciously splitting stories up into parts because I felt like I was the only person in the paranormal sector not writing a series. Funny enough, there’s no apprehension when it comes to writing a companion series, because even if things overlap a little bit, at the end of the day, you still have two or more separate books that are whole and complete by themselves. I actually have one companion series idea. Time will tell if it actually happens, but no pressure.

Which brings me to my current drafting project. This whole thought process started because I realized why I’d been struggling so much with that idea. I had split it up into two parts, and that just wasn’t going to work for that story. The idea has some complicated but interesting origins, and I was trying to figure out how to tell all of it because I was excited. Thing is, I can summarize what I need in a few sentences. I didn’t need to write a whole book about it. And honestly, I don’t want to write a whole book. I rather just write it out, fairytale-style, and give it away to anyone who wants to read it.

This explains why Self-Doubt was pitching such a big fit whenever I tried to work on it. Sometimes, Self-Doubt isn’t being a jerk. Sometimes it’s trying to help. And by stopping me from working on that story, it saved me the pain of having to dump it half-finished later. I would have been heading in the wrong direction, so it was just a pending disaster.

This, of course, led to me questioning the other duology ideas, and I’ve come to the conclusion that they were all stalled for similar reasons. I suspected that I just didn’t want to write a series. Any kind of series. And if I don’t want to do it, then my brain wouldn’t have spun up that kind of series to begin with. And I don’t think it did. I think I was just feeling self-conscious. Sometimes you need more books to tell a story in a satisfactory way. If I absolutely HAD to write two or more books to tell those stories, I would, because it’s my job to do what’s best for my stories.

It’s also my job to do what’s best for me. So, at this time, there are no more duologies. There are also no sequels. I had an idea for a NO REST FOR THE WICKED sequel, but I’m going to go with my gut and let that be more of a companion thing, if I happens. The plot just isn’t working as a sequel. Some of the original characters will show up, because they exist in the same world, and the stories will be tied together branding-wise, again, if it happens, but I need different characters for that story to work. And that story can’t bake properly if I don’t let it do whatever it wants, because it’s going to do whatever it wants anyway. They always do. 🙂

Quick editing update: As of yesterday, I have 98 pages left to edit, and 11 days to edit them. I’m working at a speed of about 10 pages an hour, during a good session, so I should make it. 🙂

In drafting news, I’m in the “this is a terrible idea” portion of the process. This too shall pass. 😛


  • Michelle Athy

    So, I’m still working on the outline of my contemp romance series. The good thing about romance series are: it’s mostly branding because they’re always about different characters in each book, existing in the same world. So they’re really a bunch of standalones.

    But in fantasy, series tends to mean the same character doing things in subsequent books, right? Sometimes, I’m really glad that an author has written a sequel and other times, I’m like, oh God, there are more books whyyyy

    • Krystal Jane

      Yep. The thought of writing a traditional series makes me want to riot. But I’m pretty game for companion books if I liked being in the world. I don’t know why it makes a difference, but it does. I think it’s because I don’t like seeing the same characters for too long. Even if I like them. I just want them to get their HEA, you know. So, I know the biggest reason why I can’t get on board with writing a regular kind of series is because I don’t really like to read them, excluding the few exceptions, of course, because there are always exceptions.

  • Crystal Collier

    Standalones are epic too. Definitely go with what works for you. I had the opposite problem. I was working on a standalone, and suddenly it hit me that this story could not be told in a single book. Ugh. That kinda killed my mojo and I put it aside for now, even 55K words in. I’ll get back to it, once I have the entire story arch built for the series. No point stumbling around in the dark until I’ve banged out a solid plot that may or may not work with a series. I think there’s a sense of freedom in writing a standalone. A freedom I may never know. 😉

    • Krystal Jane

      I’ve wondered what it’s like to have an idea and know it’s going to take multiple books to tell the story. It sounds exciting, but it’s also a much bigger time commitment. I think if I had a regular series idea, I would want the full series arch before I finished book one. I’m kind of like that now with my companion series, and it really doesn’t even matter. LOL!

  • Christine Rains

    I appreciate a good standalone, especially in a world where everything seems to be going the series way. I’m happy you figured it out for yourself. You gotta do what works for you. 🙂

  • Tonja Drecker

    Each story is what it’s supposed to be. I love a good standalone. There’s nothing worse than authors forcing books into a series just for the series sake. A couple of times, I’ve read the first book in a series, thought it was awesome and hurried to Amazon to buy the next only to see that there were 7 or more books. While the first 3 or 4 might be of the main original characters, the others started spanning out to their children or friends or whatever. Totally turned me off before I even bought the 2nd book. There’s no reason for series pressure. None at all.

    • Krystal Jane

      Thank you!! Seriously, I feel like I just need someone to tell me it’s okay. LOL! I feel the same way. If I see that a series goes on for five plus books, I lose enthusiasm for it. I’m happy to populate the supply of stand-alone paranormals. For people like me. 😀

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