Friday, September 14, 2007

Series vs. Ology vs. Stand-Alone Writing Differences (pt. 2)

WebMage the series. Very early in the writing of Cybermancy it became clear that WebMage, while not a run-away best seller or anything, was going to do well. It went into a second printing somewhere around 28 days after release. At that point, I knew that I should be thinking about ongoing threads of story in case Ace wanted more WebMage books and I started laying down little mysteries and building relationships that could carry over to further books. At the time I was thinking two more for sure and possibly others afterward.

Now, I've mentioned that I'm a world-driven writer. The idea of being completely trapped in an established world and following the same character around getting into and out of scrapes made me a little worried. I was still having fun here, but I wanted to make sure that I and the series had room to grow.

So, when the time to propose books III and IV came along I sent my agent a proposal for III very much in line with I and II and a proposal for IV that said (in essence) "I've got this really cool idea for how to keep the stuff that's making these books work and still give me some elbow room. Here's the basics. I don't know the exact plot for this one, but it starts here, meanders through these scenes and almost certainly ends with this one, but don't hold me to all of that because it's going to change based on what happens in III*, trust me." He loved it, both because I was completely honest and because he thought it would be a great way for the series to go. Also, having read seven of my novels, he trusts my work. My editor had a similar response for (I think) similar reasons, and I'm really excited to continue working the series because of book IV and what it implies for potential future books.

*this part is pretty standard actually. Everyone in the business understands that a pre-book synopsis is a sketch and major changes are likely to happen between the sketch and the final painting, especially if there's another book in the series between.

That's the lot for now. Anybody want to tell me what I'm missing or ask for an expansion on any points?

1 comment:

MariAdkins said...

The idea of being completely trapped in an established world and following the same character around getting into and out of scrapes made me a little worried

That happened with me with my HVS series. Honestly by the middle of the third story, I just wanted away from that family. Not necessarily away from the world I created, but away from those people. People only live so long, and one can only write so much about their offspring - and people only want to know and hear so much about said offspring...I had major burn out by the time I sat down with the fourth story - and it shows. In fact, that story is currently shelved.