Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wicked Wednesday - the pros and cons of writing a paranormal romance series

Many of the paranormal romance books you see out there are series. Readers love them, and the demand for them is high. Yet before you dive in and start writing your own series, there are a few things you need to consider.

PROS:
* Readers love them. Their demand for more is fed.
* You have plenty of time for world building and to develop characters. You'll spend so much time with them, you'll know them very well.
* If readers love your first book, it paves the way for great sales in the future with the rest of the series.

CONS:
* Readers might love them, but a series is harder to sell to a publisher.
* You'll spend so much time with your characters, you might get sick of them. Usually it takes years to write a series. Years where you are stuck with these characters that you may grow bored or frustrated with. Things might start to feel stale.
* If readers hate your first book, the rest of your series will bomb.

Here are four tips to help make your series a success:
* Avoid cliches and formulas. Keep each book fresh. Don't be afraid to try something new or show a different side to your characters.
* Make sure each book can stand alone and connect to the series.
* Up the ante in each book. Your characters must continue to grow. Their challenges must get harder in each book.
* The couple might get together in the first book, but that isn't the end of the relationship. There are many stages and challenges to each relationship. Don't let the romance die.

My favorite paranormal romance series and an excellent example of how how to write a series: The Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.

In your opinion, what makes a series good? What are your favorite paranormal romance series?

15 comments:

  1. Great advice! I love the tip about having the books standalone yet still connect. Even though I enjoy cliffhangers, it's really refreshing when I can return to a series and not feel lost...

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  2. These are really good tips! I'm always impressed with people who can accompany their characters for that many years. :)

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  3. I think you said it right... it's about making sure the character keeps growing in each book, and yes, the conflict needs to be bigger in each book.

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  4. I've been writing a series with Eve Paludan, and a lot of this applies. It's fun watching characters grow. At the same time though, I'm aware that the world they're in comes essentially from the needs of the first story, rather than fitting whatever we make up next.

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  5. Great post. I'm just embarking on a series, and there are a lot of characters and worlds to keep track of.
    Thanks for the tips.

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  6. I've found that if you believe in the series potential of your novel, for heaven's sake stick with it.

    The characters become strangers if you move on to another ms. Finding them again is difficult.

    I love series. Adore them. But endings can kill the buzz sometimes. Example: Richelle Mead's Dark Swan series.

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  7. I think a series with stand alone books is good in any genre. That way readers don't have to start at the beginning.

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  8. Good tips! Ditto what Alex said. From a reader's perspective: I like to read a series, especially when the entry point can be with any book.

    Have a great Wednesday!

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  9. Thank you all! I like a series where I can jump in at any time too. And Huntress, I totally agree about the Dark Swan series. That was so very frustrating.

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  10. Great advice!

    I think knowing when to stop a series is a good idea too. True, readers love their series, but there comes a point where you have to say, "The End."

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  11. Great tips. I found incorporating new POVs can help, so I can get more in depth with characters.

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  12. Great tips--and cautions! I don't have much advice on what to do, but here's what I'd avoid: a female protag who is much less capable and interesting than her love interest. Sadly, I've seen it done more than once.

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  13. Your tips are really good. They apply to any genre.

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  14. It's so true.
    My hardest part is making each story stand alone but still be part of the set.

    Love the Fever series.

    HMG

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  15. I've heard that if you want to pitch a series to folks, you need to have a complete series to show - so your publisher doesn't have to worry about the books following the first never materializing.

    Among my fave series is MaryJanice Davidson's "Unwed and Undead" series.
    Some Dark Romantic

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