Books

Neil Turner on Writing a Series Versus a Standalone Novel


master mentalism tricks

Writing a Series Versus a Standalone Novel

Writers often debate the merits of writing a series versus standalone novels. There are pros and cons to either approach. I’ll recap the debate by focusing on three key elements in any novel: characters, setting, and plot.

Characters. A series negates the need to create a new cast for each novel. It also allows for longer character arcs. Many readers enjoy revisiting characters they connected with, and the same is true of writers. While I enjoy creating new characters, I find it equally rewarding to plumb the depths of my characters in ways only a series can accommodate. On the downside—especially with thrillers—we sacrifice an element of suspense when major characters are placed in peril. We may not know how they’ll escape, but we’re pretty sure they will. Well, most of the time.

Setting: Similar to the pros and cons of characterization, I find a recurring setting advantageous. The fictional Chicago suburb of Cedar Heights is well-established in my series, and I have the giant canvas of Chicago to work with, so it’s generally enough for me to paint a quick sketch to orient readers new and old. This keeps the story moving forward. I established a firm sense of place in the first Tony Valenti Thriller, A House on Liberty Street, which slowed the story here and there, but I did so because the setting was vital to the story. I also knew I was crafting a series and wanted a strong sense of place to anchor the novels. Readers who have read the series from the start have a deeper appreciation of how Cedar Heights figures in the lives of the characters in a way standalone novels are seldom able to accomplish. That said, creating new locales is fun, so Tony has been known to take the odd road trip.

The third element I’ll address is plot. A decided danger in working with a series is repeatedly writing essentially the same novel, so I strive to give Tony and company fresh challenges to face in each book—tests they meet with the help of accumulated experience and newly-acquired skills. Brute force and/or violence is one way of taking down an adversary, but I find it equally satisfying and more interesting when characters outthink their opponents. Not knowing how Tony will tackle problems also adds a welcome element of suspense.

At the end of the day, there’s no right or wrong in this discussion. Some of us enjoy writing in a series; others are abhorred by the idea of doing so. Some authors write a series and standalones. One size doesn’t fit all!

 

Sign up for our email and we’ll send you the best new books in your favorite genres weekly.

Read The Full Article Here


trick photography
MaryAnne Piccolo Guests On “If These Walls Could Talk” With Hosts Wendy Stuart and Tym Moss Wednesday, May 8th, 2024
Ryan Reynolds’ Latest Prank Involves the Titanic and That Steamy
Bachelor Nation’s Chris Conran and Alana Milne Are Engaged
Christine Quinn’s Husband Christian Files for a Restraining Order Against
Movie Review: ‘The First Omen’
Julia Garner to Play ‘The Fantastic Four’s Silver Surfer
Craig Gillespie in Talks to Direct ‘Supergirl’ for DC
Narco Wars Season 2 Streaming: Watch & Stream Online Via
Rocky Kramer’s Rock & Roll Tuesdays Presents  “CARS” On Tuesday April 16th, 2024, 7 PM PT on Twitch
‘FBI’ Scores Major Renewal, ‘International’ & ‘Most Wanted’ Also Returning
9-1-1 Season 7 Episode 3 Review: Capsized
That Jon Snow-Centered ‘Game of Thrones’ Show Is a No-Go
Rocky Kramer’s Rock & Roll Tuesdays Presents  “CARS” On Tuesday April 16th, 2024, 7 PM PT on Twitch
NxWorries Announce New Album Why Lawd?, Share New Song “86Sentra”
Adele Sets Rescheduled Las Vegas Dates for the Fall
Judas Priest Just Did Something No Other Metal Band Has
I Live in NYC but Visit Miami and L
Sabrina Carpenter Just Wore a Sheer Dress From the 1997
Embrace Your Cowboy Carter Era With Our Favorite Pairs of
NGL, This $58 Madewell Belt Is Maybe My Best Buy
Jennifer Tilly Talks Those ‘Chucky’ Season 3 Shocks and Surprises
NECA Unveils Screen-Accurate Life-Sized M3GAN Doll for Pre-Order
‘Them: The Scare’ Trailer Reveals Foster Home Horrors on Prime
‘Mothers’ Instinct’ Exclusive: Get Into The Minds of Jessica Chastain
No Preview
The Housemaid’s Secret: Ending & Explanations
The Best Nonfiction Books of 2024 (So Far)
Book Riot’s Deals of the Day for April 6, 2024
Fourth Wing Amazon TV Series: What We Know (Release Date,